Defending champions Samoa, current Series leaders New Zealand, England and Fiji all enjoyed 100% records in the pool stages of the Adelaide Sevens, round six of the HSBC Sevens World Series. They are joined in the Cup quarter finals by Argentina, hosts Australia, 2011 USA Sevens winners South Africa and reigning Rugby World Cup Sevens champions, Wales.
Cup quarter finals:
New Zealand v Argentina
Samoa v Australia
Fiji v South Africa
England v Wales
Pool A (NZL, KEN, WAL, COK)
Current Series leaders New Zealand reached the Cup quarter finals on top of Pool A following their 34-14 victory against Kenya, captain DJ Forbes adding two of their six tries in the victory at the Adelaide Oval.
The 2011 Hong Kong Sevens champions began their campaign with a 36-10 victory against reigning Rugby World Cup Sevens champions Wales, their 23rd victory in 24 meetings against the Welsh in the World Series, and a 40-7 victory against the Cook Islands.
Declan O’Donnell, Bryce Heem, Lote Raikabula, Tomasi Cama and Tim Mikkelson (2) all crossed for Gordon Tietjens’ side against Wales before a Toby Arnold hat-trick and two Scott Curry tries proved decisve agains the Cooks.
Despite winning their third Cup title this season in Hong Kong they will, however, be hoping not to repeat last year’s Cup quarter final exit, knowing that their lead at the top of the Series would inevitably close should they lost to Argentina on day two.
Wales joined New Zealand in the quarter finals and will face rivals England after a 53-0 victory against Ramsey Tomokino’s Cook Islands. Alex Cuthbert and Richie Pugh both scored their 30th tries in World Series history during the win.
Paul John’s side had picked up their first win against Kenya, winning 26-14 thanks to two tries from Kristian Phillips.
Earlier Kenya narrowly beat the Cook Islands 19-12 having conceded the first try to Conrad Piri. Collins Injera, scoring his 112th try in World Series history, secured victory for Benjamin Ayimba’s team with the last play of the match.
Pool B (ENG, ARG, SCO, PNG)
England narrowly beat Argentina 21-19 to reach the Cup quarter finals as Pool B winners thanks to two tries from Nick Royle and one from Oliver Lindsay-Hague.
Following a third Cup final defeat to New Zealand this season in Hong Kong, England got off to a strong start against rivals Scotand with Royle scoring the first of two hat-tricks on day one in the 45-7 victory before adding a second in the 45-12 win against Papua New Guinea.
They are joined in the quarter finals by Argentina who, thanks to two Joaquin Todeschini tries, beat Scotland 22-7 and earlier proved too strong for Shane Howarth’s Papua New Guinea, scoring seven tries to one in their 45-5 victory.
In the penultimate Pool B match Scotland came from 14-0 behind to win 19-14 against Papua New Guinea and finish third in the pool. Ross Miller, Ross Samson and Finlay Gillies cancelled out Albert Levi and Henry Liliket’s first half efforts.
England 45 Scotland 7
Following a third Cup final defeat to New Zealand this season in last weekend’s Hong Kong tournament, England got off to a strong start against Scotland with Nick Royle scoring his first of two hat-tricks.
John Brake, Tom Powell, James Rodwell all touched down before London Irish wing Marcus Watson closed out the scoring with a try on his England Sevens debut.
HSBC Sevens World Series record points scorer Ben Gollings added four conversions as England cruised to a 45-7 victory.
England 45 Papua New Guinea 12
England’s free-scoring rugby continued against Papua New Guinea and the Hong Kong finalists led 21-7 at half time after John Brake opened the scoring and Nick Royle added two more to his tournament tally.
The half time introduction of Mark Odejobi paid dividends after just 21 seconds as he stretched England’s lead early in the second half, and after Papua New Guinea’s Henry Liliket was sin binned England took full advantage, running in tries from Mat Turner, Chris Kakah and Dan Norton.
Royle bagged his second hat-trick of day one at the death leaving England with a second 45-point haul.
England 21 Argentina 19
Another two tries from Royale and one from Oli Lindsay-Hague secured a much tighter affair against Argentina who were 5-0 up in the first minute thanks to Javier Ortega Desio’s touchdown.
Ryan’s men rallied to lead 14-12 at half time and after an equally tight second seven minutes it was Gollings’ superior conversion kicking that booked England’s place in the Cup quarter finals.
Pool C (FIJ, AUS, USA, TGA)
Fiji will face another Cup quarter final with South Africa in a repeat of the 2011 USA Sevens Cup final after beating the hosts 26-21 in the final match on day one.
Jacob Taylor and Greg Jeloudev had given Michael O’Connor’s side a 14-0 lead but Emosi Vucago’s try before half time and three Fijian tries after the break proved too much for Australia in the 26-21 victory.
Earlier David Batiratu and Seremaia Burotu both scored twice in their victory over Al Caravelli’s USA before Sailosi Rabonaqica crossed twice in their 33-14 victory against their Pacific rivals Tonga.
Etimoni Paea had given Tonga a 7-0 but they were reduced to six men and despite Paea scoring a second, Fiji proved too strong.
In what was arguably the pool of death at the 2011 Australia Sevens Australia the hosts got off to a strong start against Tonga, winning their opening match on day one 40-14 thanks to two tries from captain Bernard Foley, before beating 2010 runners-up USA 28-10 to set up a quarter final with Samoa.
USA ended day one with a 24-12 victory against Tonga. Tries from Zach Test, Colin Hawley and Marco Barnard helped Al Caravelli’s side record a sixth victory against Tonga in their 11th meeting.
Pool D (RSA, SAM, FRA, JPN)
Defending Adelaide and World Series champions Samoa ended day one with a 100% record following their 26-17 victory against South Africa in the final Pool D match.
Reupena Levasa, Lolo Lui and Alafot Fa’osiliva fired Samoa into a 21-0 lead at half time, before two Tshotsho Mbovane tries brought South Africa back into contention in the second half. But a second try from captain Lui ensured Stephen Betham’s side head into day two unbeaten.
Samoa won both of their opening two matches to book their places in the Cup quarter finals with victories against France and Japan.
They edged France 19-12 in their second pool match of the day after a 40-7 victory against the 2011 Hong Kong Sevens Bowl finalists Japan despite being locked at 7-7 at half time. Two Ofisa Treviranus and Tom Iosefo tries contributed to 33 second half points and secured victory for Stephen Betham’s side
2011 USA Sevens winners South Africa join them in the last eight after beating Japan 21-12 and France 19-0, Cecil Afika adding three tries to his season tally.
Having won this tournament in 2008 and 2009 Paul Treu’s side, along with 2010 champions Samoa, will both be looking for further success in Adelaide on day two.
France finished day one in third place after they scored six tries against Japan in their 40-7 victory, Steve Barry crossing twice in the victory.
England finished day one of the Adelaide sevens unbeaten to book a cup quarter final match against Wales tomorrow. Ben Ryan’s men finished day one as the tournament’s highest scorers, clocking up 111 points in their three games against Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Argentina.Like Rugby World? Subscribe to the magazine for the latest comprehensive content.
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