New Zealand, Fiji, unbeaten on opening day of Vancouver Sevens


Los Angeles (AFP)

New Zealand and Fiji emerged from pool play unbeaten Saturday, on the opening day of the on the opening day of the World Rugby Sevens Series Vancouver stop.

New Zealand opened their account with a 31-26 victory over Scotland, then breezed past Russia 31-5 before capping their night with a 33-14 victory over defending champions and current series leaders South Africa.

Three tries in the first seven minutes put New Zealand on the road to victory over the Blitzboks.

Scott Curry's try was followed by one from Dylan Collier and Ngarohi McGarvey-Black added another as New Zealand led 21-0 at halftime.

Collier's second try and one from Luke Masirewa saw the Kiwis hold on as South Africa got second-half tries from Dylan Sage and Kyle Brown.

"We wanted to take it to them and I think we did pretty well," New Zealand captain Curry said. "We had three pretty tough games today so to get through it with three wins in a pool like that, we're really pleased."

New Zealand, who came into the weekend trailing South Africa by 10 points at the top of the standings, will take on the United States in the quarter-finals on Sunday.

South Africa, who beat Russia 38-7 and thumped Scotland 21-0 to finish second in the group, face Australia.

Fiji won Pool C with a 45-5 victory over Spain, a 38-7 win over France and a 24-21 victory over Kenya.

In the quarter-finals they'll face Argentina, runners-up in Pool B to England, who will take on Kenya.

Hosts Canada were eliminated from Cup contention. After a gritty 19-19 draw against Australia they were edged 28-21 by the United States and a 47-5 win over Uruguay wasn't enough to put see them advance.

Canada and United States were tied 21-21 when Canada's Nathan Hirayama attempted a kick to touch. The Eagles managed to snag the ball, which ended up in the hands of Kevon Williams who went coast-to-coast for the winning try.

"We tried to stay in the fight and keep working," Williams said.