Sevens World Series leaders South Africa lost to France in the opening round of pool matches at the Wellington leg on Friday.
(South Africa, United States, France, Japan)
United States 38-7 France
South Africa 24-7 Japan
United States 40-5 Japan
South Africa 5-22 France
France 35-17 Japan
South Africa 26-14 USA
USA and South Africa have wrapped up top eight spots with wins in their final pool matches. Despite going down to South Afirca 26-14 in the final round of matches on day one at the Wesptac Stadium Mike Friday’s men qualified on top of Pool A. After finishing equal on points with both USA and South Africa, France will rue their earlier 38-7 loss to the USA which cost them a place in the Cup quarters on points difference after Zack Test scored two of his side’s six tries.
The Blitzbooks were pushed all the way by a spirited USA team after the score was locked 14-14 at half time. Tries to Seabelo Senatla and Kwagga Smith were matched by a sensational double to Perry Baker. Cecil Afrika broke the deadlock two minutes into the second stanza before Smith’s second confirmed his side’s place in the quarters.
After consecutive wins in Dubai and Port Elizabeth the Blitzboks sit on top of the series standings and in poll position to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics but could not stop the French in the first match of the day before Werner Kok, Senatla and Philip Snyman got them back on track with a 24-7 win over Japan.
In a highly entertaining match Japan’s Lomano Lemeki gave the Cherry Blossomes the early lead against USA before speedster Carlin Isles and Danny Barrett crossed for converted tries to lead 14-5 at the break. An Isles in-and-away special down the right flank extended the lead to 21-5 opening the flood gates in the second half for a 40-5 win.
(New Zealand, England, Papua New Guinea, Canada)
England 29-0 Papua New Guinea
New Zealand 26-5 Canada
New Zealand 38-7 Papua New Guinea
With the luxury of still having to play one another in their final pool match, the All Black Sevens and England have wrapped up the top two spots in the pool with two convincing wins each.
After easily accounting for Canada in round one, New Zealand defeated Papua New Guinea by six tries to one with Ambrose Curtis and Jack Goodhue starring with two tries each.
Tom Bowen continued his good form for England on day one scoring two first half tries in setting up a 12-5 lead at the break. England scored again shortly after the break, Jeff Williams bursting down the right flank to score before Marcus Watson and James Stephenson closed it out 27-5 for Simon Amor’s men.
Earlier in the day, New Zealand’s title defence started strongly with a 26-5 win over Canada. Sherwin Stowers got the home side off to a good start scooting over for the first five pointer before a neat inside ball from Gillies Kaka sent 17-year-old debutant Reiko Ioane across the stripe. Kaka was at it again shortly after, this time setting up Sam Dickson for the easiest of tries and a 19-0 lead at half time. New Zealand’s fourth try came at the hands of another on debut in Beaudine Waaka before Wales posted their sole try after the siren.
England overpowered series newcomers Papua New Guinea 29-0 in their first match with James Rodwell and Jeff Williams both scoring doubles.
(Australia, Fiji, Wales, Portugal)
Fiji 31-19 Portugal
Australia 36-5 Wales
Fiji 42-19 Wales
Australia 29-0 Portugal
Wales 20-12 Portugal
Australia 5-14 Fiji
Australia and Fiji have qualified for the quarter finals following two wins each in their opening two rounds. After accounting for Wales in their opener Australia led 10-0 at half time against Portugal before putting their foot down in the second half posting a 29-0 win. Second half tries Cameron Clark, Pama Fou and Greg Jeloudev helped continue Australia’s good form on day one.
Four first half tries including a blinding double from Semi Kunatani set Fiji on their winning way all but shutting Wales out of the first half action 28-0. But Wales score three second half tries launching a mini-comeback before Fiji ran out eventual winners 42-19.
Earlier, class prevailed as Australia dominated Wales in the first half with four unanswered tries to lead 22-0. Wales started brighter in the second stanza scoring first through Craig Price after good lead up work from Jevon Groves before Cameron Clark and Con Foley added further points for a 36-5 win.
Fiji’s Samisoni Viriviri ignited the crowd with a try either side of half time stamping his return to the HSBC Sevens series in his sides 31-19 win over Portugal. Scores were locked at 12-12 after two tries apiece in the first half. Semi Kunatani showed a clean pair of heels and a strong fend to post Fiji’s first try but Portugal hit back soon after through a Carl Murray five pointer. Viriviri scored next before the long striding Aderito Esteves struck back with the first of his two tries in the match.
(Agentina, Kenya, Samoa, Scotland)
Scotland 14-12 Samoa
Argentina 31-7 Kenya
Scotland 14-19 Kenya
Argentina 21-21 Samoa
A two-try effort from Tulolo Tulolo in the second half inspired Samoa to a 21-all draw with Argentina after his side trailled 14-7 at half-time. Samoa scored first through Tuliu Vaa before Schultz and Alvarez crossed for Los Pumas. Argentina’s Segundo Tuculet split Tulolo’s second-half brace in a game which kept fans on the edge of their seats.
Damien Hoyland’s second brace in two matches gave the Scots a 14-7 half time lead in their second pool match before a quick-fire double from Billy Odhiambo gave Kenya a five-point buffer, a lead they held onto for the remaining minutes.
In a tight round one contest Argentina and Kenya traded early five-pointer’s through Rodrigo Etchart and Bush Mwale respectively before Segundo Tuculet’s converted try gave the Los Pumas a five point advantage at the break. German Schulz extended the lead to 12 soon after but two late opportunist tries capitalising on Kenya mistakes put the result beyond doubt for Argentina with a strong 31-7 result.
Hoyland’s first brace of the day had the Scots up 14-0 at the break over the Pacific islanders, eventually holding out a strong finishing Samoa for a two point win. With his side on the comeback late in the second stanza Samoa Toloa brought the crowd to their feet breaking a tackle on half way before outpacing the defence to score then Gregory Foe crossed in the corner but it was too little too late as the siren sounded.
With thanks to WorldRugby