Australia, New Zealand progress in Hong Kong
March 23, 2013
Shannon Walker outstrips Argentina's defence © Getty Images
Australia will face Fiji in the IRB Sevens World Series Hong Kong Cup quarter-finals after winning their final two games in Pool A.
Australia's Cup campaign was in danger when they lost 19-14 to Wales on Friday, but they showed spirit and composure to defeat Argentina and South Africa on Saturday to secure safe passage to the knockout stages of the top-tier tournament.
Australia opened their day with a 21-12 defeat of the heavily favoured Bltzbokke, who were second to New Zealand in the season's series standings entering the tournament. Shannon Walker scored two tries after James Stannard had levelled the opening score by South Africa's Paul Delport. Stannard also landed three conversions while Seabelo Senatla scored South Africa's second try.
Australia then secured their passage to the Cup quarter-finals by defeating Argentina 12-5, with Lewis Holland and Walker scoring tries.
They next play Fiji, who joined New Zealand as an unbeaten qualifier having defeated Spain 22-12 and Canada 26-5 on day two.
New Zealand, meanwhile, maintained their undefeated progress through Pool C to set up a Cup quarter-final against Samoa.
DJ Forbes scored two tries against Kenya while Sherwin Stowers , Tim Mikkelson and Sam Dickson also crossed in defeating the African side 31-7, before New Zealand overcame a half-time deficit against the United States. The USA scored twice through Matt Hawkins while Trinity Spooner-Neera was sin-binned, to lead 12-7 at the interval, but Spooner-Neera, Rocky Khan and Gillies Kaka scored tries in the second stanza to secure a 24-12 margin.
Samoa stumbled into the quarter-finals after losing 14-10 to Portugal and drawing with Scotland 12-12 on day two; they finished tied for second in the group with Scotland - behind Portugal - but advanced with a better points difference.
Wales topped pool A ahead of Australia despite losing their final pool match to South Africa, and they will face Canada in the last eight.
Portugal and Kenya will contest the other quarter-final.
© ESPN Australia / New Zealand
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength
'Nothing can prepare you for the noise of the Millennium Stadium though, you just can't hear anything." Tom Hamilton talks to Cory Allen
Following a weekend where Wales suffered more heartbreak against Australia and the Aviva Premiership showed its class, the Monday Maul looks back at some of the key talking points