Sevens

Fiji unbeaten after Day 1 of Dubai 7s

Fiji, South Africa, England and Australia go through to the Cup quarter-finals with unbeaten records in Dubai, searching for the first gold medal of the season. Reigning HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series champions and Olympic gold medallists Fiji were one of four teams to maintain a 100% win record on day one of the Dubai Sevens and […]

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December 3, 2016 9:53 am

Fiji, South Africa, England and Australia go through to the Cup quarter-finals with unbeaten records in Dubai, searching for the first gold medal of the season.

Fiji close on the heels of Argentina's Matias Ocsaduk on day one of HSBC World Rugby Men's Sevens Series 2016-17 opener in Dubai on 2 December, 2016. Photo: Micheal Lee / Taiwan Mike World Rugby.
Fiji close on the heels of Argentina’s Matias Ocsaduk on day one of HSBC World Rugby Men’s Sevens Series 2016-17 opener in Dubai on 2 December, 2016. Photo: Micheal Lee / Taiwan Mike World Rugby.

Reigning HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series champions and Olympic gold medallists Fiji were one of four teams to maintain a 100% win record on day one of the Dubai Sevens and march into the Cup quarter-finals.

The Pacific islanders took a major step towards retaining their Dubai Sevens title with three wins in Pool A over Wales, Argentina and Canada, providing some thrilling rugby at the opening round of the world series.

They will face France in the final eight and will be joined by three other unbeaten sides from day one as South Africa, England and Australia all shone brightly in the Dubai sun.

“We’re happy with how we performed but we knew it was going to be tough,” said Fiji captain Osea Kolinisau. “We got three wins in the bag, and a win is a win. We learned a lot from the first three games.

“Against Argentina, we knew they were going to throw the kitchen sink at us because they had lost to Wales. I am proud of the way the boys were resilient. We were down twice and had two yellow cards, but the boys came back so it’s a testament to them.”

South Africa, series runners-up for four years in a row, put their stamp on Pool B with victories over Scotland, USA and Uganda. World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year Seabelo Senatla showed his quality with six tries on day one, two more than any other player. The Blitzboks will play New Zealand in the Cup quarter-finals, a side they lost to twice in finals during their 2015-16 campaign in both Wellington and Vancouver.

England, runners-up last year in Dubai, produced a dominant display against the All Blacks Sevens in Pool C to add to their earlier victories against Samoa and Russia. They will face Calum Macrae’s Scotland side on day two.

In Pool D a new-look Australia, under the captaincy of Sam Myers, notched up three wins against Japan, France and Kenya. Head coach Andy Friend’s side will play Wales in their Cup quarter-final.

Source: World Rugby.

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