Wellington Sevens: Day One Wrap

Date published: January 30 2016

Fiji, New Zealand and Australia all head into day two of the Wellington Sevens having won all three of their pool matches on Day One.

Hosts and defending champions New Zelaand won all three of their matches on day one of the Wellington Sevens to march into the quarter-finals after dramatically beating South Africa 19-14 in the last match of the day.

World Rugby Sevens Series leaders Fiji and Australia also maintained 100 percent records with impressive displays at the Westpac Stadium, as the third round of the Sevens World Series continued to entertain.

The All Blacks Sevens, who have won four of their last five home tournaments, came from 7-0 behind to be Cape Town Sevens champions South Africa 19-14. Two Akira Ioane breaks, the first to set up Sam Dickson, gave New Zealand a 12-7 lead before Cheslin Kolbe looked to have given the Blitzboks the win. But a trademark Sonny Bill Williams offload gave Joe Webber the chance to dot down under the posts for the home side to finish top of Pool A.

On a day where Williams made his international sevens debut and scored a try with his first touch, Sir Gordon Tietjens' side will now meet Kenya in the quarter-finals, a repeat of the dramatic semi-final from two years ago in which Oscar Ouma scored in sudden-death extra-time to put the African side into the final.

"Hopefully I can grow into the tournament and just keep learning," said Williams "It was a sneaky scab try, I was just backing up, but like I said I just want to learn. I am grateful to be playing amongst such talented players.

"It is always good to play at home, and in the All Blacks jersey, in Wellington, from an NZ perspective I'm not sure it gets much bigger than this."

Ben Ryan's Fiji scored 17 tries, including four from Savenaca Rawaca to take his tally for the season to 14, and will face USA in a mouth-watering quarter-final, while Australia will meet South Africa in their quarter-final after Sam Myers scored at the death to beat Kenya 17-12 in the Pool D decider, adding to two earlier tries from Greg Jeloudev.

Despite a defeat to Samoa, England were the other side to finish top of their pool. Finishing ahead of Mike Friday's USA having beaten them in their second match of the day, England will play Cape Town runners-up Argentina. Simon Amor's side return to the quarter-finals having missed out in Cape Town, in the only change from the final eight in South Africa.

USA booked their place with a 29-21 win over France with two tries from Carlin Isles, finishing second to England in their pool having lost to Amor's side in their earlier match.

Sunday's Fixtures


New Zealand v Kenya
England v Argentina
Australia v South Africa
Fiji v USA


Scotland v Portugal
France v Japan
Canada v Russia
Wales v Samoa


Pool A: South Africa, New Zealand, Scotland, Russia

South Africa 28-5 Scotland
New Zealand 38-7 Russia
South Africa 54-0 Russia
New Zealand 27-7 Scotland
Scotland 19-17 Russia
South Africa 14-19 New Zealand

Pool B

Argentina 19-12 Wales
Fiji 45-7 Japan
Argentina 31-14 Japan
Fiji 33-7 Wales
Wales 33-28 Japan
Argentina 10-31 Fiji

Pool C

France 14-17 England
USA 24-20 Samoa
France 28-12 Samoa
USA 5-19 England
England 14-17 Samoa
France 21-29 USA

Pool D

Kenya 31-7 Canada
Australia 19-12 Portugal
Kenya 26-5 Portugal
Australia 26-22 Canada
Canada 42-7 Portugal
Kenya 12-17 Australia

With thanks to the World Rugby website