Fiji continued their march towards a fourth consecutive tournament win with a dominant display at round nine of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in London.
Current HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series leaders Fiji were sublime in the London sunshine on day one claiming three straight victories against Argentina, Scotland and New Zealand to top Pool A. The Pacific islanders will face Pool D runners-up Canada in the first of tomorrow’s cup quarter-finals.
Hosts England finished the day in fine style in front of over 46,000 fans with a convincing 38-12 victory over Kenya to set up an exciting quarter-final against Australia with another huge crowd expected at Twickenham Stadium tomorrow. Australia impressed on day one with a perfect record of three victories over Ireland, Wales and Spain to top Pool B.
South Africa, currently lying in second place in the series standings just four points behind Fiji, finished in top spot in Pool D despite a shock defeat to Samoa after securing victories over Canada and Russia. This sets up a mouth-watering quarter-final clash against New Zealand as the All Blacks Sevens defeated Scotland and Argentina to finish as runners up behind Fiji in Pool A.
USA topped pool C following wins over England and France and a draw with Kenya. The USA Eagles were helped on their way by top try scorer Carlin Isles who showed his pace to overtake teammate Perry Baker as leading series try scorer with an outstanding six tries on day one in London, taking his overall series tally to 41.
The story of the day came from Pool B as Ireland made history by reaching the Cup quarter-finals for the first time ever. On their first appearance in the series since 2004, Ireland clinched second place in the pool courtesy of a comprehensive 38-10 victory over Spain. The Irish attack was led by 24-year-old Jordan Conroy who impressed on his series debut with four tries on day one.
Each round of the series sees one invitational team join the 15 core teams on the world series and Ireland’s success represents the first time a non-core team has reached the quarter-finals since Japan at Las Vegas in 2016.