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Reaction: Dubai's day of drama

Fri, 30 Nov 2012 21:39
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Portugal beat England and South Africa on the same day
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Canada and Portugal joined the top seeds in the Cup competition at the Dubai leg of the IRB Sevens World Series, after an enthralling opening day of action.

Two of the three new core teams on this season's IRB Sevens World Series now face quarterfinals with Kenya and New Zealand respectively.

The current Series leaders Fiji, as well as second placed New Zealand, ended day one with a 100 percent record and await France, whilst Wales play Samoa in the Cup.

England, who finished third in last year's Series, missed out on a place in the Cup quarters for a second successive round, along with South Africa and Australia.

It's the first time South Africa have failed to reach the Cup Quarter Finals in the HSBC Sevens World Series since way back in 2001 in Wellington.

"I am very happy, very proud of the boys," Portugal star Pedro Leal said on defeating England and South Africa.

"We had a terrible game in Australia, we came here with young guys and we made it so we are very pleased.

"Two years ago we beat England too, but we didn't make the Cup quarters, here we have so we are very very happy."

Nanyak Dala, Canada Sevens captain, after reaching Cup quarterfinals: "It is really special, we haven't had too many of these so we will cherish it and look forward to day two. Now that we are back as a core team we are working hard to show what we can do when we get a chance to get on the circuit.

"We are going to be giving it a go on day two, playing hard and hopefully upsetting a lot more teams. He [Nathan Hirayama] has probably been on more tours than most. He has a cool calm head, he always steps up to the mark so it is good to have him back."

South African coach Paul Treu said his team's overall performance was a huge disappointment.

"We don't prepare to go the Bowl, it is a big disappointment," Treu said.

"Firstly losing Branco and then our captain, and then to go into the Bowl, we don't work this hard to play on that side of the draw. We have to go out there now and take as many positives as possible and get this over and done with."

Faamoni Lalomilo, the Samoan coach, was obviously delighted after his team had edged South Africa 10-5 to reach the Cup play-offs.

"We prepare for this day and I think it is very hard for us, but thankfully we made the Cup quarter for tomorrow [Saturday]," Lalomilo said.

"Today [Friday] has gone though, so we need to prepare for the first match tomorrow. With the preparation for the Olympics all the teams are competitive. Every game is tough now."

Kurt Baker, NZ Sevens: "We are not as pleased as we would like to be at the end of day one but we are through to the top side of the draw so hopefully we can lift our game for tomorrow [Saturday].

"I have always loved the Sevens side of things, I am looking forward to the World Series especially here in Dubai."

Setefano Cakau, Fiji captain, on going unbeaten on day one: "It is a good game, we know that Kenya defend well, but I thank the boys that we worked together and could win the last game this [Friday] afternoon.

"I know we have a lot of new boys, but we enjoy our stay and the game so far because we have beaten every team, so we are looking forward for tomorrow's game."

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