Kiwis wrap it up early at Twickenham
Kiwis wrap it up early at TwickenhamSHARE
New Zealand wrapped up the overall IRB Sevens World Series title at Twickenham on Saturday when they qualified for the Cup quarterfinals.
Just by virtue of qualifying for Sunday's knockout stage of the final leg of the series, the All Blacks ensured they couldn't be caught by nearest pursuers South Africa in the overall standings.
On a day when New Zealand's Tomasi Cama became only the second man to break the 2,000-point barrier in series history, the All Blacks proved too strong for Argentina and Wales in their opening two clashes.
Those two wins guaranteed them a quarterfinal berth and their 12th overall title but, in the final match of a dramatic first day, New Zealand lost to England, who are aiming to win their home leg for the first time since 1999.
England came from behind to claim an impressive 15-12 victory and top Pool A meaning New Zealand will face South Africa in their quarterfinal, not that coach Gordon Tietjens was too upset.
"We are delighted to have won the world series and we won't let that last result hinder our celebrations," he said.
"We will turn up against South Africa wanting to win with the same desire as always."
England will face France in their quarterfinal after Tom Mitchell's late penalty helped them overcome the All Blacks and the England captain said his side's confidence was sky high after the win.
"I am really pleased," Mitchell said. "New Zealand have been really good this season staying at the top. They're never an easy game and the boys did well."
Elsewhere, Samoa won Pool B by beating the United States 27-5, this after they defeated Canada 12-19 and Kenya 19-12, lining up a quarterfinal tie with Fiji.
They will be accompanied by Kenya as despite drawing with third-placed Canada they advanced via their superior points difference.
Kenya's opponents will be Australia, who were the winners of Pool C after beating second-placed Fiji 24-12 in their final game.
South Africa topped Pool D after dominating all their opponents, beating Portugal 47-3, France 47-7 and Scotland 26-12.
Scotland missed out on qualifying for the Cup event after losing to both South Africa and going down 14-10 to France, who sealed second place with a 59-14 win over Portugal.
All of the Day One results:
New Zealand 12-15 England
Argentina 33-7 Wales
England 31-5 Argentina
New Zealand 49-0 Wales
England 14-10 Wales
New Zealand 40-10 Argentina
Canada 17-17 Kenya
Samoa 27-10 USA
Kenya 12-19 Samoa
Canada 22-19 USA
Kenya 22-5 USA
Canada 12-19 Samoa
Fiji 12-24 Australia
Spain 34-14 Japan
Australia 36-0 Spain
Fiji 43-7 Japan
Australia 28-0 Japan
Fiji 38-0 Spain
South Africa 26-12 Scotland
France 59-14 Portugal
South Africa 47-7 France
Scotland 31-5 Portugal
South Africa 43-7 Portugal
Scotland 10-14 France