Portugal march into Cup play-offs

Fri, 30 Nov 2012 09:13
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Portugal put the cat among the pigeons when they beat both South Africa and England to book a place in the Cup quarterfinals in Dubai.

Portugal put the cat among the pigeons when they beat both South Africa and England to book a place in the Cup quarterfinals at the Dubai leg of the IRB Sevens World Series.

Aderito Esteves scored after the hooter for full-time had sounded to give Portugal a 12-10 win over the BlitzBokke and Pedro Leal slotted an injury-time penalty for an even more dramatic 22-21 win over England later in the day.

Their second win also knocked England out of the Cup competition.

For South Africa the day could also not have turned out worse.

BlitzBok captain Kyle Brown suffered a broken ankle in the team's 19-10 win over England earlier in the day and will return home over the weekend.

And to add insult to injury the South Africans were also knocked out of the Cup competition, when Samoa beat them 10-5 in the final match of Day One.

Tournament favourites Fiji and New Zealand remained unbeaten on the opening day in Round Two of the IRB series, while Canada followed up their 20-0 shut-out of France with a 28-all draw against Australia for the day's other big upset.

That draw with Canada and a 0-7 loss to France later in the day also saw the Aussies being knocked out of the Cup competition.

Cup quarterfinals:
Fiji v France
Samoa  v Wales
Canada v Kenya
New Zealand v Portugal

Bowl quarterfinals:
Spain v United States
South Africa v Russia
Australia v Scotland
Argentina v England

We bring you all the Day One drama!

Pool A:

Kenya and Fiji both booked their places in the Cup quarterfinals in Dubai with victories against Scotland and Spain.

Fiji beat Kenya 14-10 in their final pool match, but by then the Africans had already booked their place.

The champions from the Gold Coast, Fiji, were made to work hard against Spain before running out 14-0 winners thanks to tries to Setefano Cakau and Maleli Belolevu Bula. Against Scotland, they won 22-14.

Two tries to Kenyan flyer Collins Injera saw Kenya run out winners in their opening match over a determined Scotland 12-5, after the Scots led early through a try to Michael Fedo, before they beat Spain 10-7.

Spain then beat Scotland 12-7 thanks to a late try on the siren through Matias Tudela.

Kenya 12-5 Scotland
Fiji 14-0 Spain
Kenya 10-7 Spain
Fiji 22-14  Scotland
Spain 12-7 Scotland
Fiji 14-10 Kenya

Pool B:

Wales claimed their spot in the Cup quarterfinals with a commanding 22-5 win over Russia in their final match with captain Rhys Shellard crossing for a hat trick. This followed their hard fought 14-7 defeat over Argentina earlier in the day.

Argentina had to beat the powerful All Blacks Sevens in their final match if they were to have had any chance of reaching the Cup quarterfinals, but the South Americans lost 7-17 and dropped down to the Bowl competition..

Earlier on in dreadful conditions, with the rain pouring down, New Zealand showed their class to overcome an early Ifan Evans try for Wales to score a 14-7 victory thanks to second half tries to Tomasi Cama and Kurt Baker.

A late try to Francisco Merello saw Argentina win 17-10 in their opening game over a committed and skilful Russian team who scored tries through Vladislav Lazarenko and Denis Simplikevich..

In the other match Russia threatened briefly to pull off a major upset before late tries to Cama and Milford Keresoma saw New Zealand defeat them 31-14.

Argentina 17-10 Russia
New Zealand 14-7 Wales
New Zealand 31-14 Russia
Argentina 7-14 Wales
Wales 22-5 Russia
New Zealand 17-7 Argentina

Pool  C:

The Pool of Death more than lived up to its name with all four teams poised on four points going in to the last round of matches.

In one of the most dramatic matches in recent memory Portugal then defeated England 22-21, thanks to a Pedro Leal penalty goal seconds before the siren, to send them through to the Cup quarterfinals. A stunning performance from the least favoured team in the pool.

And in another hard-fought encounter Samoa edged the BlitzBokke 10-5 in the final match of the day to book the other Pool C spot in the Cup competition.

Earlier, after losing 10-19 to South Africa in their first match, a gutsy England team, led through the brilliance of Dan Norton, hit back to defeat Samoa 19-17 and keep their Cup quarterfinal dreams alive. However, the loss to Portugal saw them join SA in the Bowl competition.

Samoan speedster Lio Lolo notched up a hat trick as Samoa needed a late try to see off the impressive Portugal 24-19. But Portugal turned the pool on its head when they scored a try through their giant No.1 Aderito Esteves after the siren to upset South Africa 12-10.

Samoa 24-19 Portugal
South Africa 19-10 England
South Africa 10-12 Portugal
Samoa  17-19 England
England 21-22 Portugal
South Africa 5-10 Samoa

Pool D:

Canada confirmed their place in the Cup quarterfinals with a strong 26-7 win over the USA in difficult conditions in their final pool match.

Earlier they had tied 28-28 with Australia in an enthralling encounter. Justin Douglas leveled for Geraint John's side as the buzzer sounded, completing a superb comeback from 28-14 down with less than two minutes remaining.

In their opening match Canada beat France 20-0 in the day's first match while Peter Lee crossed late on as Michael O'Connor's young Australian side defeated USA 19-12.

France bounced back from their loss to Canada with a hard fought 17-14 victory over the USA Eagles thanks to Renaud Delmas' decisive try.

In the final match in the pool France battled hard to defeat Australia 7-0 to join Canada in the Cup quarterfinals.

Australia 19-12 United States
France 0-20 Canada
Australia 28-28  Canada
France 17-14  United States
Canada 26-7 United States
France 7-0 Australia

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Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 9 0 0 0 92
Wales Sevens 9 0 0 0 91
France Sevens 9 0 0 0 73
Scotland Sevens 9 0 0 0 48
United States Sevens 9 0 0 0 41
Kenya Sevens 9 0 0 0 40
New Zealand Sevens 9 3 0 0 167
Fiji Sevens 9 3 0 0 161
England Sevens 9 1 0 0 135
Samoa Sevens 9 1 0 0 133
South Africa Sevens 9 0 0 0 125
Australia Sevens 9 0 0 0 112
Canada Sevens 9 0 0 0 33
Spain Sevens 9 0 0 0 19
Portugal Sevens 9 0 0 0 18