Record audience watches HK Sevens day one
Day one at the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens produced competitive action across the board with the 28 teams either looking to take the famous Hong Kong title and earn Series points, or keep alive their hopes of winning core team status for 2013/14.
In the main tournament, featuring the top sides in the world, Wales, Argentina, New Zealand, Kenya, Samoa, Portugal, Canada and Fiji all scored opening wins.
The Pumas were ruthless in seeing off USA Sevens champions South Africa 21-0, while Samoa also looked genuine title contenders in beating England 28-7.
Defending champions Fiji started with a 36-0 win over hosts Hong Kong, while Series leaders New Zealand came from behind to beat France 33-12. Portugal scored a last-gasp win against Scotland.
Zimbabwe and Russia impress in Series qualifying While the top 16 - the current 15 core teams and Asian champions, Hong Kong - compete in the main competition, 12 regional qualifiers are looking to keep alive their hopes of gaining core team status on the 2013/14 Series.
To do that they need to finish in the top four of their 12-team competition and book a place in the promotion / relegation play-off finale in London in May.
Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 hosts Russia and the Cheetahs of Zimbabawe both scored impressive opening wins in the same pool. Georgia and Japan both edged tougher victories against Hong Kong debutants Jamaica and Brazil, while Uruguay and Tonga also scored opening wins, the Tongans battling from behind to edge Tunisia by two points.
With 28 nations competing, the Hong Kong event has also attracted more live broadcast takers than ever before with 23 airing live coverage in 144 countries, a new record for a single round of the Series.
After five rounds of the 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series there have been five different winners.
Fiji won the opener in Australia; Samoa claimed the cup in Dubai; New Zealand triumphed in South Africa; England won in New Zealand and South Africa took the USA Sevens in Las Vegas.
As the only side to have reached all five Cup quarter-final rounds, New Zealand lie first in the standings on 96 points followed by South Africa (73), Samoa (71), Fiji (66), France (59) and Kenya (57).