Unbeaten quartet lead way in Las Vegas
February 9, 2013
New Zealand's Sam Dickson has helped his side to two wins from two at the Las Vegas Sevens © Getty Images
Samoa, New Zealand, Fiji and South Africa were all unbeaten at the end of day one of the Las Vegas sevens, but still had one more pool match to worry about before the quarter-finals.
They all won both their matches, but all 16 teams are still in a position to reach the last eight. One team struggling to find their best form though is England, winners of the Wellington leg only a week ago, who lost to Fiji and Portugal. Kenya, the team England defeated in the final in New Zealand, also appeared to be suffering something of a hangover and only narrowly beat Uruguay, having lost to Canada in their opening fixture.
There was another shock as Spain downed Australia 24-14. Earlier in the day Spain had pushed Samoa hard and led 12-0 at one stage, but the South Sea Islanders fought back to win 19-12 for their second victory of the day, after they had beaten hosts USA.
Reigning World Series champions New Zealand appear in good nick and only conceded five points in two matches. They began the day with a 21-0 win over France in which Belgium Tuatagaloa scored two tries, then saw off Wales 45-0 thanks in part to a Ben Lam hat-trick.
South Africa made light work of their opposition, starting with a 45-0 win over Uruguay before beating Canada 17-5. It was a similar day's work for Fiji who began with a 26-17 defeat of England in which Samisoni Viriviri scored twice and finished with a 14-12 win over Scotland, for whom Russell Weir missed a late drop goal.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As Ray McLoughlin prepares to celebrate his 75th birthday, Huw Richards pays tribute to the man and the selectors who had the wisdom to bring him into the Ireland fold
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament