Day of drama at Dubai Sevens
Canada and Portugal joined the top seeds in the 2012 Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens Cup quarter finals after an enthralling day of action at 7he Sevens.
Two of the three new core teams on this season's HSBC Sevens World Series now face quarter finals with Kenya and New Zealand respectively.
The current Series leaders Fiji, as well as second placed New Zealand, ended day one with a 100% record and await France, whilst Wales play Samoa in the Cup.
England, who finished third in last year's Series, missed out on a place in the Cup quarters for a second successive round, along with South Africa and Australia.
Pool A (FIJ, KEN, ESP, SCO)
Kenya and Fiji both booked their places in the Cup quarter finals with victories early in the day against Scotland and Spain.
Fiji, the champions from the Gold Coast, were made to work hard against Spain before running out 14-0 winners thanks to tries to Setefano Cakau and Maleli Belolevu Bula. Against Scotland, they won 22-14.
Two tries to Kenyan flyer Collins Injera saw Kenya run out winners in their opening match over a determined Scotland 12-5, after the Scots led early through a try to Michael Fedo. In their second match Kenya again had to work hard to beat Spain 10-7.
Spain then beat Scotland 12-7 thanks to a late try on the siren through Matias Tudela. While in the pool decider Fiji defeated Kenya 14-10 to top the pool.
Fiji now face France in the Cup Quarter Finals while Kenya face Canada in their Cup quarter final. In the Bowl Spain will face the USA while Scotland will play Australia.
Pool B (NZL, ARG, WAL, RUS)
Wales claimed their spot in the Cup Quarter Finals with a commanding 22-5 win over Russia in their final match with captain Rhys Shellard crossing for a hat trick. This followed their hard fought 14-7 defeat over Argentina earlier in the day.
But the group belonged to the All Blacks Sevens who remained unbeaten on Day One with wins over Wales, Russia and Argentina (17-7) in their final match.
Earlier on in dreadful conditions, with the rain pouring down, New Zealand showed their class to overcome an early Ifan Evans try for Wales to score a 14-7 victory thanks to second half tries to Tomasi Cama and Kurt Baker.
A late try to Francisco Merello saw Argentina win 17-10 in their opening game over a committed and skilful Russian team who scored tries through Vladislav Lazarenko and Denis Simplikevich. Simplikevich was impressive on the day, finishing among the top try scorers with three tries.
In the other pool match Russia threatened briefly to pull off a major upset before late tries to Cama and Milford Keresoma saw New Zealand defeat them 31-14.
New Zealand were one of only three undefeated teams on Day One, along with Canada and Fiji, and they will face giant killers Portugal in the Cup Quarter Finals while Wales will face Samoa in the Cup Quarters.
Russia will go through to the Bowl tomorrow where they face a tough assignment against South Africa while Argentina also have a tough match against England in their Bowl Quarter Final.
Pool C (RSA, SAM, ENG, POR)
The 'Pool of Death' more than lived up to its name with all four teams poised on 4 points going in to the last round of matches.
In one of the most dramatic matches in recent memory Portugal then defeated England 22-21, thanks to a Pedro Leal penalty goal seconds before the siren, to send them through to the Cup quarter finals. A stunning performance from the least favoured team in the pool.
Earlier, after losing to South Africa in their first match, 19-10, a gutsy England team, led through the brilliance of Dan Norton, hit back to defeat Samoa 19-17 and keep their Cup Quarter Final dreams alive.
Samoan speedster Lio Lolo notched up a hat trick as Samoa needed a late try to see off the impressive Portugal 24-19. But Portugal turned the pool on its head when they scored a try through their giant No.1 Aderito Esteves after the siren to upset South Africa 12-10.
In the final round of matches Portugal then sneaked home against England while Samoa were too strong for South Africa 10-5. South Africa will also be without captain Kyle Brown, who suffered an injury in their opening match.
Samoa now face Wales in the Cup quarter finals while Portugal's reward is a Cup Quarter Final against New Zealand. England will have to re-group as they take on Argentina in the Bowl Quarter Finals while South Africa will face Russia in the Bowl play-offs.
Pool D (FRA, AUS, CAN, USA)
The game of the day saw Canada and Australia tie 28-28 in an enthralling encounter. Justin Douglas leveled for Geraint John's side as the buzzer sounded, completing a superb comeback from 28-14 down with less than two minutes remaining.
Canada then confirmed their place in the Cup quarter finals with a strong 26-7 win over the USA in difficult conditions in the final pool match after they beat France 20-0 in the day's first match.
Australia also won their first game, with Peter Lee crossing late on as Michael O'Connor's young Australian side defeated USA 19-12.
France bounced back from their loss to Canada with a hard fought 17-14 victory over the USA Eagles thanks to Renaud Delmas' decisive try.
This meant France faced Australia in the pool's final match to see who joined Canada in the Cup quarter finals. In a tight physical battle France edged it 7-0 to send Australia to the Bowl.
Canada will now face Kenya for a place in the Cup Semi-Finals while France take on Fiji in the Cup. Australia will face Scotland while the USA take on Spain in the Bowl.
Sevens Uncovered: Dan Norton
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30 Nov - 1 Dec 2012
Venue: The Sevens