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Lucky escape for BlitzBokke & Kiwis

Fri, 01 Feb 2013 10:22
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We look at all the Day One drama
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Hosts New Zealand and South Africa both had lucky escapes on the opening day at the Wellington leg of the IRB Sevens World Series.

While the hosts and defending champions, New Zealand, recovered from an early loss to England to reach the Cup quarterfinals, the second and third ranked sides in the Sevens World Series were both knocked out of the Cup on a fascinating opening day.
 
Fourth-placed South Africa, like the Kiwis, required a late score to book their place in the Cup section-after the BlitzBokke had earlier lost to Samoa and Canada, before overcoming Wales.

For the first time in the 14-year history of the Series, Sevens giants Fiji failed to reach the Cup quarterfinal stage and the Series' second-ranked side France also missed out by losing a crucial match to Argentina.
 
At the end of a hyper-competitive pool stage, only Kenya, Samoa and Australia could boast 100 percent records, while both Scotland and England reached the Cup quarters for the first time this season and join South Africa who progressed on points differential at the expense of Wales and Canada.

Cup quarterfinals:
England v Scotland
Samoa v Argentina
Australia v New Zealand
Kenya v South Africa

We look at all the Day One drama!

Pool A
(New Zealand, United States, England, Spain)

England reached their first Cup quarterfinal of the 2012/13 season after two wins and a draw on day one of the Sevens.

In their first match Ben Ryan's side stunned the home fans in Wellington as a try to Dan Norton and a brilliant double to the returning Mat Turner saw England defeat the All Black Sevens 19-14. The United States played out a 12-12 with England, before Tom Powell, Marcus Watson, Turner, and Sam Edgerley scored in a 28-5 defeat of Spain.

New Zealand hit back impressively following their opening defeat, beating Spain 36-5 including a try for Rocky Khan in his Series debut. Gordon Tietjens' side progressed to meet Australia on day two after coming from 5-0 behind to beat United States 17-5 in the final match of day one.

Earlier, Spain came back from an early try to defeat the United States 10-5, with Marcus Poggi bagging a double.

Results:
New Zealand 17-0 United States
England 28-5 Spain
United States 12-12 England
New Zealand 36-5 Spain
United States 5-0 Spain
New Zealand 14-19 England

Pool B
(France, Argentina, Kenya, Tonga)

Kenya booked their place in the Cup quarters with a 17-10 defeat of Tonga, to remain unbeaten on day one, and will be joined by runners-up Argentina following Los Pumas' 17-14 win against France thanks to a last-gasp penalty drop goal from Javier Rojas.

A double from Andrew Amonde helped Kenya to a 24-12 victory against Les Bleus in the opening match before Oscar Ouma and Ambaka made it two wins from two in a 12-0 win over Argentina for Mike Friday's side.

In Argentina's first match they came from 12-7 behind to beat Tonga, the only non-core side competing in Wellington, 19-12.

Julien Candelon scored his second double of the day, taking his try tally to four for the tournament, as France bounced back to beat Tonga 33-7, and they finished third heading into the Bowl competition on day two.

Can history repeat itself for Samoa?

Results:
France 14-7 Argentina
Kenya 17-0 Tonga
Argentina 0-12 Kenya
France 33-7 Tonga
Argentina 21-12 Tonga
France 12-24 Kenya

Pool C
(South Africa, Wales, Samoa, Canada)

Samoa were one of three sides to end day one with 100 percent records as they beat Canada 26-12 thanks to two tries from Lio Lolo in their third and final match.

They will be joined by South Africa who had to rely on points differential to reach the Cup quarters, beating Wales 21-0 to ensure they progressed at the expense of Paul John's side.

Three second half tries gave Samoa a 19-10 victory against South Africa, who had led 10-0 at half time, with Alatasi Tupou, Patrick Faapale and Robert Lilomaiava all scoring for the 2012 Dubai champions, before they made it two wins from two against Wales, beating the reigning RWC Sevens champions 19-10.

In their opening match, Paul John's side beat Canada 26-17 thanks to two tries from Alex Webber and South Africa suffered a second defeat on day one at the hands of the North Americans. Sean Duke continued his good form by scoring twice in the 26-15 defeat of South Africa.

Results:
South Africa 21-0 Wales
Samoa 26-12 Canada
Wales 12-19 Samoa
South Africa 15-26 Canada
Wales 26-17 Canada
South Africa 10-19 Samoa

Pool D
(Portugal, Fiji, Australia, Scotland)

Australia ended day one with a 100 percent record thanks a 24-5 victory over Scotland what was a surprising Pool D decider. With the return of several key players from injury, Michael O'Connor's side opened their account with a 24-5 victory against Portugal. Lewis Holland was impressive throughout, and they went on to beat Fiji 21-12 in their second match.

Scotland caused the first major upset of day one by beating Fiji, who will now compete in their first ever Bowl quarterfinal, 14-12 thanks to tries from Michael Fedo and Andrew Turnbull. Stephen Gemmell, who returned to coach Scotland, guided his side to a second win on day one, narrowly beating Portugal 19-17 to book their place in their first Cup quarterfinal this season.

Fiji ended a disappointing day by beating Portugal a 24-7, with both sides progressing to the Bowl quarterfinals.

Results:
Portugal 7-24 Fiji
Australia 29-5 Scotland
Fiji 12-21 Australia
Portugal 17-19 Scotland
Fiji 12-14 Scotland
Portugal 5-24 Australia

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