Dubai Sevens: BLITZBOKS MEET SAMOA IN QUARTERS
DAY ONE, ROUND THREE WRAP: The Blitzboks 28-0 victory over Canada concluded a perfect day for the World Sevens Series Champions.
The Blitzboks join England, Fiji and New Zealand as unbeaten sides heading into the last eight after the first day full of top quality rugby under the Dubai sun.
Neil Powell's South Africa are on track to defend their title in Dubai and will face Samoa in the Cup quarter-finals. Fiji, 2015 winners in Dubai, will face Scotland while New Zealand play Kenya. England, series runners-up in 2016-17 face off against Australia.
Round Three Wrap:
(South Africa, Canada, Kenya, Uganda)
Blitzboks took control of proceedings form the kick-off.
They enjoyed the possession but was unable to penetrate the Canadian's defence. After a solid build-up, South Africa created an overlap out wide and Branco du Preez ran in for an easy converted try.
The second try was courtesy of some hard work by Albertus Smith, who went on a searing run to set-up Cecil Afrika for a handy 14-0 lead at half-time.
In the second half, the Blitzboks score twice, thanks to hard-working Smith and Werner Kock, and immaculate defence kept Canada at bay.
In the other pool A match, Kenya, who last won a tournament in the series back in 2016, secured their qualifying spot with a thrilling match-up against invitational side Uganda
South Africa 48-5 Kenya
Canada 22-17 Uganda
South Africa 19-10 Uganda
Canada 15-29 Kenya
South Africa 28-0 Canada
Kenya 29-14 Uganda
(England, Scotland, France, Spain)
England sevens star Dan Norton was in sublime form. The Speedster scored four tries to help his side to a 29-0 win over Scotland.
It was a frantic start to the game but following a Scotland knock on, Richard De Carpentier's flick set Mitchell charging down the wing to run in from 60 metres.
Quick hands to Norton into space got the second long-distance score of the game, before Mitchell's perfectly weighted grubber found Norton running on at pace England's third.
Norton got his hat-trick as he kicked ahead and dotted down as the ball bounced over the try line and then a couple of jinks inside from the right opened up space for his fourth of the game.
Scotland, although suffering a big defeat to England, beat France 24-14 and Spain 26-19 to progress into the Cup quarter-finals as second best finisher in the pool.
England 14-12 France
Scotland 26-21 Spain
England 28-0 Spain
Scotland 24-14 France
France 12-14 Spain
England 29-0 Scotland
(Fiji, Australia, Wales, Russia)
Rio 2016 gold medallists Fiji topped Pool C and began their Dubai campaign with an eight-try, 50-7 win against Russia. Gareth Baber's side then went on to beat Wales 21-7, with tries from Vatemo Ravouvou, Kalione Nasoko and Jasa Veremalua.
Australia however, were a different matter, pushing the Pacific Islanders down to the wire. Sam Myers, Simon Kennewell and Benjamin O'Donnell all scored as the scoreline swung between each side, finally landing in favour of Fiji 26-19 thanks to a late try from John Stewart.
Andy Friend's Australia side had started strongly earlier in the day, scoring six tries against Wales to win 38-7. They continued their relentless attack against Russia, beating them 47-0, before finishing second overall in the pool on seven points.
Wales 7-21 Fiji
Australia 47-0 Russia
Fiji 50-7 Russia
Australia 38-7 Wales
Fiji 26-19 Australia
Wales 29-5 Russia
(New Zealand, United States, Argentina, Samoa)
New Zealand laid down a marker to all their rivals, showing that despite the loss of leader DJ Forbes they are a force to be reckoned with. A physical opening encounter against Samoa finished 24-12 with four different try scorers for New Zealand, but against Argentina, they nearly came unstuck. Santiago Gomez Cora's side piled on the pressure early on, as Conrado Roura and Rodrigo Etchart led the charge to get on the scoresheet in the first six minutes.
The game looked to be running away from the All Blacks Sevens when Gaston Revol went over, and both Joe Webber and Vilimoni Koroi received yellow cards, but New Zealand's resilience led to a late try from Sione Molia and a 21-19 win.
Gordon Tietjens' Samoa side bounced back from their loss to New Zealand to beat USA 26-14. Joe Perez was a key part of the victory, getting a brace of tries. They continued their strong form to beat Argentina 22-12 and secure their spot in the Cup quarter-finals.
New Zealand 21-19 Argentina
USA 14-26 Samoa
USA 14-22 Argentina
New Zealand 24-12 Samoa
New Zealand 22-12 United States
Argentina 12-22 Samoa
(All times are local. GMT plus four)
09.30 - Canada v USA
09.52 - Wales v France
10.14 - Argentina v Uganda
10.36 - Spain v Russia
11.00 - South African v Samoa
11.22 - Fiji v Scotland
11.44 - New Zealand v Kenya
12.06 - England v Australia