South Africa lead the way in Port Elizabeth
December 9, 2011
South Africa united during the opening day of action at the Port Elizabeth 7s © Getty Images
Hosts South Africa set the standard on the opening day of the latest HSBC Sevens World Series event in Port Elizabeth.
Paul Treu's side ended day one having not conceded a single point after 33-0, 45-0 and 26-0 victories against Canada, Kenya and Australia respectively. Joining them in the quarter-finals will be three other undefeated sides - Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand - with England, France, Australia and Wales completing the last eight line-up.
Samoa bounced back from their disappointing showing at the opening event in Dubai last weekend to claim top spot in Pool A. A 17-5 victory over Argentina set the tone before England, winners in Dubai, were beaten 24-14 in a crucial clash. A narrow 14-12 success against the USA ensured they remained unbeaten heading into day two where they will meet Wales. England joined them as runners-up, beating Argentina 19-0 in their decisive match with Los Pumas having beaten the USA 19-7 and they now face Gold Coast champions Fiji in the Cup quarter-finals.
New Zealand took out Pool B with three impressive victories that saw them sweep debutants Morocco aside 39-7 before beating Scotland 45-0 and last week's runners-up, France 41-0, in their final outing to set up a clash with Australia. France recorded a 31-7 victory in their opening match against Scotland and a 19-7 win against Morocco proved enough for a quarter-final date with South Africa.
South Africa's three victories saw them claim the honours in Pool C where Australia's 31-14 victory over Kenya and 33-10 success against Canada propelled them into the Cup quarter-finals. Current Series leaders Fiji ended day one with a 100% record after coming from 14-0 behind to win 29-14 against Wales in the Pool D decider.
Earlier they registered an opening 31-7 victory against Portugal before sweeping Zimbabwe aside 42-17. Wales' victories - 42-7 victory against Zimbabwe and 34-7 over Portugal - and they will meet Samoa in the Cup quarter-finals.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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
"He had a death stare so you'd know when you were wrong." George Kruis talks about his mentor Borthwick, fly-fishing and his England aspirations