Portugal pulled off three stunning victories against Kenya, Samoa and Wales on day one of the Emirates Airline South Africa Sevens to reach the Cup quarter finals alongside the USA.
The IRB reports that the Americans lost to hosts South Africa early on but won a fine victory against Australia and then overpowered Georgia to book their place in the last eight along with the top seeds.
Cup quarter final line-up
New Zealand v USA
Portugal v Argentina
Fiji v Samoa
South Africa v England
Pool A: NZ beat England to top group
Tim Mikkelson scored a brace of tries as New Zealand avenged their defeat at the hands of England last weekend in Dubai to beat the English 19-7 and top Pool A in George.
England and New Zealand had both enjoyed winning starts against France and Tunisia.
England were far too strong for the Tunisians, Mickey Young scoring a hat trick in their 42-7 win, and then starring as they overpowered France 21-7, while Tomasi Cama also scored three for New Zealand in their 40-5 victory over France and then inspired the kiwis to an impressive display against the Africans, 18-year-old Julian Savea also catching the eye in a 36-0 win.
Pool B: USA join Boks in Cup quarters
South Africa, bidding to win their first title on home soil, delighted the partisan crowd at the Outeniqua Park stadium with three opening victories on day one.
The Boks kicked off their campaign with a 24-0 win against Al Carvelli’s well-drilled USA side, Robert Ebersohn and Renfred Dazel on song and scoring tries and then Ebersohn scored a first half hat trick to set them on their way to a 31-5 win against Georgia before they rounded off their day with a hard-fought win against Australia.
The Australians beat the Georgians in the pool’s other opening clash, and then contested one of the games of the day in their second fixture against the USA. Having impressed against the Boks, captain Chris Wyles was again a key figure as the Americans built a 21-7 half time lead, but two tries by Luke Morahan and one for Richard Kingi brought Michael O’Connor’s side storming back into a 26-21 lead with two minutes remaining.
Kevin Swiryn’s try on full time brought the scores level at 26-26 before Nese Malifa’s nerveless conversion from wide out on the right won the game for USA, 28-26.
The USA then confirmed their place in the last eight with a fine victory over Georgia, captain Chris Wyles leading the way with a hat trick.
Pool C: Fiji top group
Fiji beat Argentina 26-7 to top pool C thanks to tries by Seremaia Burotu (2) and Iferi Lavo, while the Pumas also proceed to the Cup quarters after earlier victories against Scotland and Zimbabwe.
Captain Emosi Vucago sparkled for Waisale Serevi’s Fijians, while Santiago Gomez Cora touched down for his 201st career try in Argentina’s 26-12 win against the competitive Zimbabweans.
Pool D: Portugal top group for first time
Portugal beat Series regulars Kenya, Samoa and Wales to top their pool for the first time and reach only their second ever Cup quarter final.
The Kenyans started well in the pool’s opening match but Portugal hit back to lead 14-12 and then held on with some typically rugged defence. Better was to come, however, and in their second match against Samoa they fought back after Mikaele Pesamino’s two opening scores to touch down three times through Pedro Leal, Diogo Mateus and his twin David for a 19-12 lead. The Samoans crossed with the last play of the match but Uale Mai just missed with the crucial conversion from out on the touchline.
It was Portugal’s first ever victory over the Samoans and they carried their fine form into their last match of the day, in which they came back from behind to beat Wales 19-17.Tweet