Top seeds unscathed in Hong Kong
March 25, 2011
Fiji's Osea Kolinisau is collared by the Malaysian defence © Getty Images
The top seeds survived day one of the Hong Kong Sevens unscathed, dishing out harsh lessons to some of the tournament's minnows in front of a near capacity crowd.
England and New Zealand are tied at the summit of the IRB Sevens World Series and both teams enjoyed big wins in their opening matches.
England, drawn in Pool B, routed China 59-5, with Greg Barden bagging a hat-trick to go with braces from Mat Turner and Dan Norton. Ben Gollings and Dan Caprice completed the scoring for Ben Ryan's side, with Wang Chongyi crossing for China. Also in that Pool, the USA crept past Japan 24-19 thanks to a double from Zach Test.
New Zealand were up against Korea in round one and kept alive their 100% record in Pool matches with a 61-0 rout. Emerging star Declan O'Donnell scored three tries for Gordon Tietjens' men, Bryce Heem, Buxton Popoalii (2), Toby Arnold and Solomon King also crossing, while Portugal saw off France 12-5 in Pool A's other game.
Pool C saw defending champions Samoa begin in style by running 10 tries past tournament newcomers Mexico. Reupena Levasa (3), Lolo Lui (2), Uale Mai, Afa Aiono, Tom Iosefo (2) and Ofisa Treviranus all crossed in the 64-0 victory, with Scotland edging out Tonga 12-10 to complete the action in that group.
Fiji were also on good form in Pool D, cruising to a 59-0 win over Malaysia. David Batiratu (2), Emosi Vucago, Seremaia Burotu (2) and Mitieli Nacagilevu all scored for the Islanders while Nikola Matawalu bagged the tournament's first hat-trick. Russia managed to spring an upset in the other match, beating Kenya 22-5 thanks to tries from Igor Galinovskiy, Vladimir Ostroushko, Nikolay Zaporzhin and Alexander Yanyuskin.
Spain briefly threatened to upset the applecart in Pool E, taking a 5-0 lead against South Africa only to see the Blitz Boks hit back through Paul Jordaan. Tries from Branco du Preez, Paul Delport and Cecil Afrka (2) took Paul Treu's side to a 33-5 win before Wales defeated the hosts, Hong Kong, 35-12.
There was another upset in Pool F, where two tries from Chauncey O'Toole helped Canada to a 22-21 victory over Argentina. Philip Mack and Ciaran Hearn also crossed for the Canucks, who will face a sterner test in the form of Australia, who beat Zimbabwe 42-0. John Grant, Ed Jenkins, Bernard Foley (2), Lewis Holland and Zack Holmes scored for the Aussies.
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