Fiji and Blitzboks progress to Paris quarters

Gatland jokes about England and not buying a beer

The stage is set for a thrilling finale to the Sevens Series as the leading two teams, Fiji and South Africa, progressed to the quarter-finals.

England will take on Fiji, while South Africa face Spain, Ireland play Canada and New Zealand are drawn against the USA in what promises to be a hotly contested quarter-final line-up in Paris.

Fiji, who hold a seven-point lead over South Africa at the top of the standings, will become series champions if they reach the podium in Paris.

It was not plain sailing on Saturday as both series leaders were made to work hard for their places in the quarter-finals on a day of surprising results which saw every team drop points in the pool stage.

In Pool A Fiji suffered a 22-19 loss to Kenya to put their quarter-final qualification in doubt, but the reigning Olympic Champions recovered to defeat New Zealand 26-17, which added to their earlier 35-12 victory over Samoa was enough to secure their passage to the quarter-finals.

South Africa lost their opening match against Scotland 14-12 but bounced back to record victories over Russia 21-19, and Canada 28-0 to finish top of Pool B.

Invitational team Ireland continued their outstanding form from last weekend in London where they claimed the bronze medal, remaining unbeaten to top Pool C with wins against Spain 14-5, Australia 24-14 and a thrilling 19-19 draw with Wales.

USA pipped England to top Pool D on points difference after a second-half comeback in the final match of the day secured a 21-21 draw between the nations who had both beaten France and Argentina earlier.

A noisy and enthusiastic French crowd were treated to a feast of rugby sevens action as the men’s and women’s events are combined in Paris to create a grand finale to the series.

Challenge Trophy Quarter-Finals

Kenya v Argentina
Australia v Russia
France v Samoa
Scotland v Wales

Cup Quarter-Finals

Fiji v England
Ireland v Canada
USA v New Zealand
South Africa v Spain

Day One results

Australia 29-10 Wales
Ireland 14-5 Spain
Canada 33-7 Russia
South Africa 12-14 Scotland
New Zealand 24-5 Kenya
Fiji 35-12 Samoa
USA 26-7 Argentina
England 28-21 France
Australia 10-17 Spain
Ireland 19-19 Wales
Canada 26-14 Scotland
South Africa 21-19 Russia
New Zealand 22-17 Samoa
Fiji 19-22 Kenya
USA 26-12 France
England 28-19 Argentina
Wales 14-21 Spain
Ireland 24-14 Australia
Russia 14-17 Scotland
South Africa 28-0 Canada
Kenya 24-10 Samoa
Fiji 26-17 New Zealand
Argentina 26-28 France
England 21-21 USA

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