England Sevens upset hosts New Zealand
February 1, 2013
New Zealand's DJ Forbes rides a tackle during a dramatic opening day of action in Wellington © Getty Images
England returned to top form on the opening day of action at the latest HSBC Sevens World Series event in Wellington to beat hosts New Zealand and book a place in the cup quarter-finals - but Fiji failed to progress for the first time in the 14-year history of the competition.
Ben Ryan's side, who are languishing in 13th place in the standings following the first three events of the season, beat series leaders New Zealand 19-14 in their opening clash at the Westpac Stadium thanks to two tries from Mat Turner and another from Dan Norton.
They were held to a 12-12 draw by the USA in their second game but a comprehensive 28-5 victory over Spain in their final pool fixture saw them progress to the last eight of the main competition for the first time this season. New Zealand will join them after bouncing back with victories over Spain and the USA to secure the runners-up spot in Pool A.
England will face Scotland in the quarter-finals on Saturday - the same day that their XVs counterparts will go head-to-head in the Six Nations on the other side of the world. The Scots progressed thanks largely to a narrow 14-12 victory over Fiji that ensured they claimed the runners-up spot in Pool D behind Australia who finished day one unbeaten.
Kenya are also quarter-finals bound having racked up three straight victories over Pool B rivals France, Argentina and Tonga and their feat was matched by Samoa who wrapped up Pool C with wins against South Africa, Wales and Canada. Argentina and South Africa complete the quarter-final line-up having finished second in their respective pools.
Cup quarter finals:
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As Scotland decides its future, Scrum Sevens looks at a group of players who transcended rugby both for country and the British & Irish Lions
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup