SINGAPORE 7s: France upset the apple cart
ROUND ONE WRAP: The usual suspects were once again victorious in the opening round of action at the Singapore Sevens, with just one result sending a shock wave through the competition.
France outplayed England in Pool B to claim a 24-14 victory to send a message to the other teams while it was all too easy for the Blitzboks as they claimed an emphatic 52-0 victory over Japan.
Kenya had no trouble in their quest to retain their title as they got the ball rolling with a 22-7 victory over Argentina while there was a narrow 19-12 victory for Australia over Samoa in Pool C. Canada did enough in their Pool A encounter against Russia to bag a 28-15 victory while Fiji coasted to an easy 40-0 victory over Hong Kong.
A powerful opening half helped New Zealand hold off a charging Scotland to bag a narrow 22-21 victory in Pool D while the USA were too strong for Wales, claiming a 35-19 win.
All the Round One results:
Canada 28-15 Russia
Canada opened the scoring in the second minute with a converted try before Russia reduced the deficit to just two points with an unconverted effort to trail 5-7 after six minutes. Canada headed into the break with a 14-5 lead when they dotted down a converted try just before the break.
Canada then stretched their lead to 21-5 in the ninth minute with another converted effort before Russia bagged their second unconverted try of the match, to trail 10-21 after 13 minutes. Canada then put the result beyond doubt in the 15th minute with another converted try but Russia closed out the game with their third unconverted try.
Fiji 44-0 Hong Kong
It took Fiji three minutes to open the scoring when they dotted down for an unconverted try before closing out the half with two converted tries to head into the break with a handy 19-0 lead.
It took some time for the scoring to continue in the second half, but when it did, it was all Fiji. They ran in three converted tries from the 11th minute to claim the easy victory.
England 14-24 France
England came out firing and took a 7-0 lead in the opening minute of the game, only to see their lead vanish as France drew level in the sixth minute. France were then reduced to six men just before the break.
England regained the lead in the eighth minute with a second converted try before France closed out the match strongly. Two converted tries in quick succession saw them claim a 21-14 lead in the 13th minute before slotting a 15th-minute penalty to seal the win.
South Africa 52-0 Japan
Werner Kok got the scoring going in the second minute and Branco du Preez' conversion ensured a 7-0 lead. Siviwe Soyizwapi stretched that lead in the fourth minute with the Blitzboks' second try. Du Preez' conversion stretching the lead to 14-0. There was time for one more seven-pointer as Soyizwapi grabbed his double. Du Preez' conversion handed the Blitzboks a 21-0 lead at the break.
Kok bagged his double in the eighth minute and with du Preez' conversion, the lead had now been extended to 28-0. Dylan Sage added his name to the scoresheet in the 10th minute when he dotted down under the uprights. Du Preez maintained his 100 percent record to see the lead stretch to 35-0. Soyizwapi claimed a hat-trick in the 12th minute to push the lead to 40-0, with the conversion missed. Zain Davids grabbed his first World Sevens Series try of his career in the 14th minute before Sandile Ngcobo rounded off the scoring with the final play. Ruhan Nel added a solitary conversion to wrap up the match.
Argentina 7-22 Kenya
It took Kenya four minutes to break through Argentina's defence before adding a second try in the eighth minute to hold a 10-0 lead at the break.
Kenya stretched their lead to 15-0 in the 13th minute, before sealing the contest in the 15th with their first converted try. Argentina ensured they grabbed some points in the game though as they crossed in the final play for a converted try.
Australia 19-12 Samoa
Samoa got the ball rolling in the third minute with a converted try before Australia drew level in the sixth minute with a seven-pointer of their own. They then took the lead on the stroke of half-time to hold a 14- lead at the break.
Samoa narrowed the deficit to 12-14 in the ninth minute before Australia landed the final blow in the 10th minute to seal the victory.
New Zealand 22-21 Scotland
The opening behalf belonged entirely to New Zealand as they stamped their early dominance on the match. A third-minute unconverted try was followed by a sixth-minute converted effort before they closed out the half with an unconverted try to ensure a 17-0 half-time lead.
The second half was a lot closer as Scotland began to find their feet. The Scots got themselves on the board in the 12th minute with a converted try before reducing the deficit to just three points with a second converted try, 14-17. New Zealand made sure of the victory in the 13th minute when they grabbed an unconverted try. Scotland closed out the match with a converted try to soften the blow.
United States 35-19 Wales
The USA got the scoring going in the opening minute with a converted try before doubling their lead in the third minute with a second converted try, 14-0. Wales hit back with an unconverted try in the fifth minute before the USA closed out the half with a third converted try to lead 21-5 at the break.
The USA came out firing in the second half to score two converted tries in quick succession to hold a commanding 35-5 lead after 10 minutes. Wales closed out the match in the ascendency though as they bagged two converted tries to narrow the margin.
Day One Fixtures:
(Kick-off is local time - GMT plus eight hours)
Argentina v Samoa (14.00)
Australia v Kenya (14.22)
England v Japan (14.44)
South Africa v France (15.06)
Canada v Hong Kong (15.28)
Fiji v Russia (15.50)
New Zealand v Wales (16.12)
United States v Scotland (16.34)
Kenya v Samoa (17.56)
Australia v Argentina (18.18)
France v Japan (18.40)
South Africa v England (19.02)
Russia v Hong Kong (19.44)
Fiji v Canada (20.06)
Scotland v Wales (20.28)
United States v New Zealand (20.50)