GOLD COAST, Australia (AFP) –
Sevens kingpins Fiji and New Zealand suffered defeats upon reaching the knockout quarter-finals of the Gold Coast IRB Sevens on Saturday.
Australia held on to down the defending champions Fiji 15-14 to finish the pool stages unbeaten alongside Samoa and South Africa.
The Springboks led 19-0 early before beating last year’s World Series champions New Zealand 31-21 to finish top of Pool A.
Australia, who have not won a Sevens tournament at home in a decade, will face Kenya in Sunday’s quarter-finals after the east Africans beat Spain and drew 14-14 with England in Pool C.
Fiji, fielding eight World Series debutants, will face South Pacific rivals Samoa in their quarter-final after finishing runners-up to Australia in Pool B.
Samoa cruised through unbeaten in Pool C with wins over Spain, Kenya and England.
Argentina’s reward for finishing top of Pool D is a sudden-death match against the All Blacks, while South Africa face France.
England, who finished third in last year’s Series, missed out on a place in the Cup quarters along with Wales.
England were edged out of a quarter-final place after a 19-17 defeat against Samoa and went into the last pool game without Chris Cracknell (knee) and Mat Turner (ankle).