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Wellington Sevens: Day One Wrap

07th February 2014 05:41

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Tussle: New Zealand and Fiji

Fiji, England, Canada and Australia won all three of their pool matches to progress to the Cup Quarter-Finals at the end of an enthralling opening day of the 2014 Wellington Sevens.

Ben Ryan's Fiji defeated hosts New Zealand 12-7 in their first match, before Samisoni Viriviri scored twice in their 26-5 defeat of France and 45-12 victory over Spain with Henry Seniloli scoring 15 points, and they will face Argentina in the quarter finals.

Defending Wellington Sevens champions England beat Portugal 36-7 and Wales 21-7 with Dan Norton crossing for his 150th career try before they proved too strong for the current Series leader South Africa in a 19-5 win with the Series' leading points scorer adding two tries in the win.

Simon Amor's side will face Samoa on day two while the Blitzbokke will meet Australia after Cameron Clark kicked another decisive penalty drop goal to give Mick O'Connor's side a 15-12 win over Samoa that saw them top their pool.

Peter Schuster had earlier scored three tries for Australia as they beat Tonga 33-5 and Kenya 24-0 on an impressive day for the Gold Coast Sevens runners-up.

Having finished a best-ever third in Las Vegas, Canada looked full of confidence as they beat Argentina 24-5 in their pool decider with the returning Ciaran Hearn scoring two second-half tries to secure the victory.

Earlier Harry Jones had scored a brace in a 17-14 win over Scotland and two tries from Conor Trainor ensured they beat neighbours USA 29-12 and they will face New Zealand.

The hosts bounced back from their opening defeat to Fiji to beat Spain 55-0 thanks to two tries from Tim Mikkelson and a Sherwin Stowers hat-trick, before beating France in the final match of day one 47-0, Stowers scoring his fourth of the tournament, captain DJ Forbes adding a brace and Akira Ioane scoring his first-ever Series try.

In the Bowl on day two Wales will play Tonga, Scotland meet Spain, Kenya await Portugal and France take on the USA.

Cup Quarter-Finals:

England v Samoa
Canada v New Zealand
Australia v South Africa
Fiji v Argentina

Bowl Quarter-Finals:

Wales v Tonga
Scotland v Spain
Kenya v Portugal
France v United States


Pool A: England, Wales, South Africa, Portugal

South Africa captain Kyle Brown, having conceded 14 points in seven matches: "We're just going to keep working on our consistency. But we need to cut down on conceding penalties against future teams."

Results:

England 21-7 Wales, South Africa 27-5 Portugal, South Africa 26-0 Wales, England 36-7 Portugal, Wales 45-19 Portugal, South Africa 5-19 England


Pool B: New Zealand, Spain, France, Fiji

New Zealand coach Sir Gordon Tietjens: "We prepared well for Fiji and when the rain came down it was a real leveler. We managed to get some young guys on and that really helped in our second match against Spain. It was good to bounce back and score 50 plus here, the starting side needed to prove themselves. I'm getting to know my best Sevens side and it's starting to come together."

Results:

New Zealand 55-0 Spain, France 21-15 Spain, New Zealand 7-12 Fiji, France 5-26 Fiji, Fiji 45-14 Spain, New Zealand 47-0 France


Pool C: Argentina, Scotland, Canada, United States

Santiago Gomez Cora, Argentina coach, on reaching the Cup quarter-finals:

"The first target is to get to the Cup quarter finals and we have done that so we are very happy to do that. The rain makes you change the entire way you play. Our team is trying to play very open and wide, but it is difficult to pass the ball and open the field, but it is impossible so we had to change all our ideas to just keep the ball and stay close."

On the Olympic qualification process: "It was awesome, for us, if Brazil is going directly we have a big opportunity to go with them and for the women's too. Brazil can be a great side in a few years, so it is great for them to have space to go to the Olympics."

Geraint John, Canada coach, on reaching the Cup quarter-finals:

"The big thing we wanted to do was pick up where we left off in Las Vegas. Very pleasing and also nice to ease Sean, Nathan and Ciaran back in. They have been out for a while so it is important for us to do that."

On the Olympic qualification process: "I think everyone knew, and us and USA our aim is to get in the top four. But we have another chance, we have our qualifier and as everyone says they are looking forward to that USA v Canada final, so I am sure everyone else will enjoy, but maybe not so much for the coaches. Our goal is to keep planning ready for that qualification process."

Results:

Argentina 17-12 Scotland, Canada 29-12 United States, Argentina 19-14 United States, Canada 17-14 Scotland, Scotland 19-19 United States, Canada 24-5 Argentina


Pool D: Australia, Kenya, Samoa, Tonga

Paul Treu, Kenya Sevens coach on a disappointing day one:

"Disappointing day, this is not where we want to be. Two rounds in a row where we didn't qualify for the Cup, but I think there are lessons for the players. Our error rate, it is incredible to think, we can't play without the ball and sometimes we have it and give it straight away. But valuable lessons learnt, and I am glad we could finish the day on a high."

On the Olympic qualification process: "It is going to be tough, with Brazil as the host team there are only 11 spots left. The Series next year will be hotly contested but it will be hugely exciting and it is all to play for. Most teams would like to finish in the top four, and we would rather not go through the regional route. But this is why we play this season, and why we play next season, there isn't going to be a bigger event than the Olympics and we all want to be a part of it. Every single team is going to go all out and make sure they are part of the spectacle."

Results:

Australia 24-0 Kenya, Samoa 31-7 Tonga, Australia 33-5 Tonga, Samoa 24-12 Kenya, Kenya 40-7 Tonga, Samoa 12-15 Australia

With thanks to the IRB