Scotland, Samoa and Wales booked their place in the Cup quarter-finals at the sixth round of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Canada, joining the top five sides in the series standings after an enthralling day of action at BC Place. Fiji, South Africa and New Zealand looked impressive on day one in Vancouver and maintained 100 per cent records to book their place in the Cup quarter-finals where they will be joined by Scotland and Wales for the first time this season, and Samoa for the first time since the series opener in Dubai, as well as Australia and the USA. A last-minute winner from Kitione Taliga ensured Fiji won all three of their matches at the inaugural Canada Sevens, the 24-19 victory knocking Kenya into the Bowl and confirming Samoa’s place as Pool A runners-up.
Ben Ryan’s series leaders will play the USA in the first quarter-final after Mike Friday’s side finished second to New Zealand in Pool D following a 17-5 defeat with Sione Molia scoring twice for the All Blacks Sevens with Gordon Tietjens’ side set to face Samoa on day two. Australia booked their place in the last eight as Pool B winners with a 49-14 win over Wales, a result which meant the hosts needed a 30-point win against Russia in the last match of the day to book their place in the Cup quarters but the 29-12 win saw Canada miss out on points difference. Andy Friend’s Australia side, who have finished second in the last two tournaments, will play Scotland, while the Blitzbokke, who scored 16 tries on day one and conceded just one, will play Wales in the last eight – both repeats of quarter-finals from Rugby World Cup 2015.
Earlier on day one Canada provided the loudest cheer of the day in front of a record rugby crowd in Canada of more than 30 000 as they beat Australia 14-12 with the last play of the match. After Adam Zaruba had levelled the scores, Nathan Hirayama slotted the winning conversion to send the stands into pandemonium, but they came up short in the final match of the day. There was also a special moment for Collins Injera on day one, as he scored his 221st career try in Kenya’s match with Fiji, moving him into second place in the all-time leading try scorer list, nine behind Santiago Gomez Cora.
Photo credit: Martin Seras Lima