France crushes New Zealand’s Hong Kong Sevens cup race

New Zealand All Blacks rugby coach Steve Hansen speaks during a press conference in Auckland on December 14, 2018. (AFP pic)

HONG KONG: The All Blacks crashed out the cup race at the Hong Kong Sevens after a shock 14-12 loss to France in Sunday’s quarter-final.

Kurt Baker’s try took New Zealand into the early lead but they were down 14-5 at the break.

A try and conversion by Andrew Knewstubb kept the game alive but New Zealand fumbled its final chance in the 12th minute from 20 metres out.

France will next face 2010 Hong Kong finalists Samoa, who took down fifth-ranked England by the same 14-12 margin after springing ahead in the scrappy match with a late try by Tomasi Alosio.

Hong Kong defending champions Fiji face the United States in the other semi-final.