7s battle: Top teams make the quarters in Vancouver

Image: WORLD RUGBY

The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series returned to action yesterday on the opening day of the Canada Sevens in Vancouver, Canada.

After the first day of competition favourites South Africa, USA, Ireland, Kenya, Great Britain, Canada, Hong Kong and Spain have all made it through to the men’s Cup quarter-finals to be held at BC Palace in Vancouver today.

While the two-day tournament missed the big boys Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Japan and Samoa, sevens fans were entertained by the performance from the 12 men’s and four women’s teams registered for the tournament.

The Fiji team had earlier advised World Rugby of the reason they pulled out from the tournament.

Fiji Rugby Union CEO John O’Connor said they told World Rugby that both the Fiji and Fijiana 7s teams had been away from their families in their own bubbles for over five months during their preparations in the lead-up to the Olympic Games.

O’Connor said the quarantine requirements both ways and considering player welfare and safety, they had concluded that it was not safe to participate in the tournament.

South Africa was unbeaten in pool play as they look to win a second Vancouver title with speedster Angelo Davids becaming the first Blitzbok player in World Sevens Series history to score four tries in a match.

He crossed four times in the 53-0 win over Mexico.

South Africa also recorded a 34-7 victory over Spain before overcoming neighours Kenya 33-14 to top pool A with a perfect four win.

USA also managed a cleansweep after defeating hosts Canada 29-19 in the final match of the day.

USA had beaten Chile 33-5 in their first game and ran out 26-7 winners over Germany to ensure they top pool C.

Having won both of their opening games, Great Britain and Ireland had already qualified for the quarter-finals by the time they met in the final Pool B fixture which ended in a 7-7 draw.

Ireland claimed top spot thanks to a points difference of +53 compared with Great Britain’s +45.

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