TUT

Champs make a perfect start

Sat, 11 May 2013 19:04
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A record Day One Sevens crowd of 71,898
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Series champions New Zealand were the only side to win all three of their matches on Day One of the 2013 London Sevens.

The Kiwis will face Argentina in the Cup quarterfinals after going unbeaten in front of a record Day One Sevens crowd of 71,898.

Hosts England started strongly, beating Fiji and Samoa in their opening two matches, but lost to Argentina 26-17 in the final match of the day at Twickenham. Despite the loss they ended Day One as Pool C winners and second seeds to set up a quarterfinal against Glasgow champions South Africa.

In the other two Cup quarterfinals Kenya meet Fiji and Australia, the Pool A winners meet USA.

In the core team qualifier, Portugal were the only side to win all three of their matches and face Georgia on Day Two. France, Wales, Canada and Samoa will compete in the Bowl competition.

We take a closer look at each Pool:

Pool A

Australia beat France 35-12 to bounce back from an opening 5-0 defeat to South Africa and head into the Cup quarterfinals as Pool A winners. In their second match Peter Schuster finished wonderfully to give Australia a 19-15 victory against USA despite a hat-trick from Brett Thompson who finished second.

Cecil Afrika snatched a dramatic late 17-14 victory for last weekend's Cup champions South Africa against France as Frankie Horne marked his 50th consecutive series tournament.

Vincent Deniau scored the opening try of the match and Terry Bouhraoua scored twice for France in their first match with USA, but the Tokyo and Glasgow Sevens Plate winners won 19-17.

POOL B

The 11-time Series champions New Zealand beat Canada 24-7 in their opening match having trailed 7-0, and also came from 17-0 behind to defeat Kenya 31-17 with Kurt Baker and David Raikuna scoring twice each.

Humphrey Kayanage returned to the Kenyan squad for the London Sevens and scored one of the tries of the day, running the entire length of the pitch, as his side beat Wales 31-19.

The reigning Rugby World Cup Sevens champions held on to a narrow 17-14 victory against Canada thanks to Adam Thomas' late try and a try-saving tackle from Alex Walker in their second match.

POOL C

Dan Norton scored England's 1000th point of the Series as Ben Ryan's side continued to impress on day one with a 34-7 defeat of Samoa. Norton scored their second hat-trick of the day after Jeff Williams crossed three times as the hosts defeated Fiji 27-0 in their opening match but ended their home tournament with a 26-17 loss to Argentina.

Facundo Panceyra Garrido scored with the last play of Los Pumas' match to beat Samoa 10-7, but were unable to repeat that against Fiji who beat them 24-0. Samoa's day ended disappointingly too with a 33-7 defeat to Pacific neighbours with Samisoni Viriviri scoring twice.

Qualifier

Alongside the main competition an eight-team tournament is taking place from which three will gain core team status for the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series.

All eight sides will enter the quarterfinals on day two, but their matches determined their seeding for Day Two. In the upsets of the day Hong Kong came from behind to beat Scotland 20-19, while Tonga defeated Spain 19-17.

In the quarterfinals, Portugal will face Georgia, Spain meet Hong Kong, Zimbabwe await Rugby World Cup Sevens hosts Russia and last week's hosts play Tonga. The four winners will progress to the semis from which three sides will gain promotion to the Series.

All the results from Day One:

Pool A
Australia 35-12 France
South Africa 12-19 USA
USA 15-19 Australia
South Africa 17-14 France
South Africa 5-0 Australia
USA 19-17 France

Pool B
New Zealand 45-5 Wales
Canada 12-38 Kenya
Wales 17-14 Canada
New Zealand 31-17 Kenya
New Zealand 24-7 Canada
Wales 19-31 Kenya

Pool C
England 17-26 Argentina
Fiji 33-7 Samoa
Argentina 0-24 Fiji
England 34-7 Samoa
England 27-0 Fiji
Argentina 10-7 Samoa

Fixtures for Day Two:

Cup quarterfinals
New Zealand v Argentina
Kenya v Fiji
Australia v USA
England v South Africa

Bowl semifinals
Wales v Samoa
France v Canada

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