England wow record crowd as NZ clinch Series
By Tom Chick in London
England defeated the All Blacks Sevens 15-12 thanks to a drop goal penalty from captain Tom Mitchell to progress to the Cup quarter finals in an enthralling finish to day one of the Marriott London Sevens.
By progressing to the Cup quarter finals, second from their pool, defending champions New Zealand claimed a 12th HSBC Sevens World Series title in 15 years in front of a 74,969 record-crowd at Twickenham.
Simon Amor's England side earlier came from 5-0 behind against Wales to record an opening 14-5 victory thanks to tries from James Rodwell and Mitchell before Dan Norton scored twice in their 31-5 win over Argentina.
They will face France in the quarter finals as they look to win a home title for the first time since 2009 after Les Bleus beat Scotland 14-10 and Portugal 59-14 to progress with Virimi Vakatawa, Julien Candelon and Julien Saubade all scoring two tries in the latter.
Ben Lam scored a hat-trick as New Zealand won their opening match against Argentina before 17 points from Gillies Kaka helped them to a 49-0 win over Wales while Tomasi Cama became only the second player in history, after Ben Gollings, to score 2000 points on the World Series and they will play the Blitzboks in the quarter finals.
South Africa progressed with a 100% record after beating Portugal 43-7, France 47-7 and Scotland 26-12 with Seabelo Senatla scoring a hat-trick against France, and two in each of the matches with Portugal and Scotland.
Samoa, who have failed to make a Cup quarter final since round five in New Zealand, won all three of their matches to set up an enthralling quarter final with Pacific neighbours Fiji.
Fautua Otto, returning to the Samoan side for his 23rd World Series event, scored 18 points in their wins over Canada, Kenya and USA while Fiji's Samisoni Viriviri took his season try tally to 50 with two tries against Spain.
Australia won all of their three matches and conceded just 12 points to secure their place in the quarter finals, in what will be coach Mick O'Connor's last HSBC Sevens World Series event in charge.
Sam Myers impressed with a hat-trick in their win over Spain before they beat Fiji 24-12 in the Pool C decider and they will play Kenya who progressed on points difference ahead of the Glasgow Sevens runners-up Canada.
Relegated Spain to compete in Bowl on day two
Spain's failure to make the Cup quarter finals in London meant they were relegated as a core side for next season's Series, and they will play USA in the Bowl quarter finals on day two.
The side that will replace them next year, Japan, lost all three of their matches on day one, including a 34-14 defeat to Spain, and they will face Canada.
Last week's finalists Canada came from 19-0 behind at half time to beat USA 22-19 thanks to two tries from Connor Braid, a match which could decide an Olympic qualifier next year, but drew with Kenya and missed out on the Cup on points difference.
Pedro Leal scored his 1000th point on the Series, becoming only the ninth player to do so, for Portugal and his side meet Argentina while Wales face Scotland in the fourth Bowl quarter final.