Port Elizabeth (South Africa) (AFP) – Hosts South Africa went undefeated on the first day of the IRB’s Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens on Saturday, but England failed to make the cut for the Cup quarter-finals.
Also ending day one with a 100 percent record were current series leaders New Zealand, Argentina and Fiji.
The day started in emotional style, all 16 teams joining together on the pitch for the playing of the South Africa national anthem followed by a minute’s silence to honour former president Nelson Mandela.
The Blitzbokke rose to the occasion and impressively beat Canada, Spain and former coach Paul Treu’s Kenya to set up a quarter-final against Portugal.
Portugal also impressed on day one, recording a shock 28-17 victory over Wales and a 33-17 win over the USA with David Matues scoring twice in both matches to reach their first Cup quarter finals of the season but second successive in Port Elizabeth.
Argentina beat Zimbabwe, Samoa and England, and will face last year’s runners-up France in the quarters.
New Zealand scored more than 40 points in each of their three matches, with Sherwin Stowers scoring six tries and they will meet Kenya who were runners-up in Pool B.
Last week’s champions Fiji were too strong for Australia, France and Scotland with Benito Masievu scoring in all three wins.
Ben Ryan’s side now face Samoa in an enticing first quarter-final after Fale So’oialo scored four tries as Samoa bounced back from their 26-19 defeat