Russia make history in Hong Kong
March 25, 2011
Russia's defeat to Fiji did not prevent them from progressing to the quarter finals © Getty Images
History was made on the second day of the HSBC Sevens Series event in Hong Kong with Russia booking a quarter-final berth for the first time.
Joining them in the last eight as one of the best pool runners-up will be Portugal who enter the knock out stages for just the third time but both sides face tough clashes with Series leaders England and New Zealand awaiting them on Sunday. South Africa take on Fiji and Australia tackle Samoa in the other two quarter-finals.
Portugal will take on their New Zealand rivals in the first of the quarter-finals having lost 19-12 to them during the second day of action at the Hong Kong Stadium. But a 12-5 victory over France and a 41-14 success against Korea saw them progress from Pool A. New Zealand stayed on course for their third final appearance of the season with a 19-7 victory over France in their final pool clash.
England also reached the quarter-finals with a 100% record in Pool B following a 33-14 victory over Japan. Twice they took the lead but both times were pegged back by Lote Tuqiri tries before powering away in the second period with Tom Powell and Oliver Lindsay-Hague both crossing twice. England then eased past the United States 37-12 in their final game with Dan Norton grabbing a brace.
Russia successfully negotiated their way out of Pool D with a 50-0 thrashing of Malaysia having lost 29-14 to Fiji earlier in the day. Fiji secured their position as group winners with a 40-0 victory over Kenya with Emosi Vucago scoring two of their six tries.
Fiji now face South Africa after topping Pool E thanks to a 45-0 victory over Hong Kong and a 42-12 win against Wales who had to settle for a place in the bowl competition.
Defending champions Samoa booked their place via Pool C with a 24-17 win against Tonga and a 31-14 success against Scotland with Alafoti Fa'osiliva crossing for his 100th try in World Series history. They now face Australia who topped Pool F after edging out Canada 26-24 and beating Argentina 21-14.
Cup quarter finals:
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The thirst for knowledge has seen coaches break away from the confines of rugby and look to America." Tom Hamilton on the two-way learning process
On Saturday, New Zealand face the USA in a match that has been 40 years in the making. Tom Hamilton finds the atmosphere building in Chicago
Most modern rugby players will not know the name Ray Williams but they should be eternally grateful to him, writes John Taylor
With the All Blacks playing the USA Eagles this weekend, Craig Dowd says rugby is ready to make a professional breakthrough Stateside