- Third leg of HSBC Sevens World Series 2013/14 heads to South Africa
- Sad backdrop to Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth
- Defending champions New Zealand open up with three convincing wins
- Fiji set up enticing Pacific Island last eight clash with Samoa
- Portugal stun Wales 28-17 in second pool game and qualify for Cup matches
- England fail to make Cup quarter-finals after defeat to Argentina 19-21
- Australia ousted by resurgent France in final pool game
All times local
Now then! The final match of the evening. It's a big one: hosts South Africa - the Blitzbokke - against the might of Kenya. Brace yourselves, it's going to be fast and furious. Victories over Canada and Spain already banked, this will be South Africa's toughest test of the day.
POOL B: CANADA 12-26 SPAIN
Ignacio Martin concocts a great sidestep to give Spain the lead. The conversion goes over for good measure. A marvellous offload from standout performer Pablo Feijoo then gifts Gerardo de la Llana an easy score. Feijoo then runs out play on the hooter and that is a fine win for Spain.
@KenyaRugby247 Wishing the Kenya Sevens Team Victory against SA later tonight #SA7s— Timothy Kaberia (@Timothy Kaberia) 07/12/2013 17:43
With South Africa and Kenya through in Pool B, this penultimate match of the day is a chance for Canada and Spain to get one over each other. Speedster Justin Douglas, still only 19, opens the account for Canada with a pick-up and surge to the corner after Pablo Feijoo had got Spain into the lead. Both sides score before the break and this is anyone's clash. 12-12.
Sun setting on a fantastic 1st day of 7's action @SouthAfrica7s @IRBSevens - it's been a memorable day! #Madiba http://t.co/Cu13Ro7CNm— Marius Roberts (@Marius Roberts) 07/12/2013 17:36
Ben Ryan, Fiji coach: "At half-time I could easily have chucked on the cavalry who were resting, but the young kids out there resolved their issues on the field, so that is pleasing for the future."
POOL A: FIJI 22-12 SCOTLAND
Sub Jona Tuitoga gets Fiji off to a flying start after the break to regain the lead. Strength is evdident moments later, Samu Saqiwa surely puts the game beyond the resilient Scots, muscling through in the corner. Fiji go through with three big wins. Brave effort from the Scots.
Fiji's spellbinding start under coach Ben Ryan, who has only been at the helm for six weeks, continues apace. This time it's Scotland who feel the full effect of Fiji's powers. Leo Naikasau and Benito Masilevu both score with ease, though it is precision skill and pace that is at the forefront. Scotland are not out of it though. Keep ball finishes with a flying score by Andrew Turnbull in the corner. And an inspired Scotland then level up through Mark Bennett. Brilliant half of rugby. 10-12 to the Scots.
@IRBSevens @benjaminryan You've got to love the Internet... #IRB7slive #Santiago #Chile http://t.co/CWikGGBY6L— Nick Hill (@Nick Hill) 07/12/2013 17:18
@irbsevens Quite a surprise #7ARG topping pool D over Samoa and #7ENG failing to reach Q/Finals— James Karanja (@James Karanja) 07/12/2013 17:05
Vincent Deniau, France coach: "We are happy because Dubai was so bad for us. We have trained a lot and the quarter-finals were the team's objective. sometimes it is good to be bad and the coach has made us learn how to work this week."
POOL A: AUSTRALIA 12-19 FRANCE
Tight, tense and tactical, Sevens rugby doesn't have to be all about racking up the tries. A match that could still swing both ways with four minutes left, there's still no score in the second-half. France are holding a grip, though, with a patient Australia pegged back, but biding their time. As the hooter looms, France suddenly find a key turnover and break upfield. And then! Julien Candelon steps on the gas 15 metres out and France are through. Australia fail to make the Cup.
1 more hour left of Day1 of the #SA7s Final match: #Blitzbokke vs @KenyaSevens 19:58 (SA-time) http://t.co/OSPF3cuC33— BlitzBokke.com (@BlitzBokke.com) 07/12/2013 17:00
Finally have a Saturday off. Sevens breakfast time. 👌— Lucas Ruppelt 2⃣2⃣ (@Lucas Ruppelt 2⃣2⃣) 07/12/2013 17:00
POOL A: AUSTRALIA 12-12 FRANCE
Pivotal match this, the winner advances to the Cup quarter-finals tomorrow. It swwings from the off, France strike first through Renaud Delmas, before Australia respond twice before the hooter. And there's still time for France to get back on terms with a fighting, mazy run through the centre. Great heart from Julien Candelon, the French stalwart!
Los Pumitas7 le ganaron a Inglaterra!!!!!!!! :O #Sevens #SA7s— Kevin Díaz García (@Kevin Díaz García) 07/12/2013 16:44
A jubilant Argentina coach Santiago Gomez Cora: "I can't believe it but we are growing as a team game by game, and here we top our pool. Tomorrow if we do the same as today I will be happy."
Here's one for you, Fiji will meet Samoa in the first Cup quarter final on day two!
Wow, just wow. That was an entertaining second half! Lucas Alcacer hands the young Argentineans a 14-7 lead, but Dan Bibby hits back and captain Tom Powell is off the bench to give England the lead. Although the five point lead was not enough to take them through to the Cup quarters, Agustin Cortes pops up at the end to snatch a 21-19 win for Los Pumas and they end the day with a 100% record and England will compete in the Bowl for the first time this season!
Mat Turner, who went to school in South Africa gives England a seven point lead, one away from a spot in the quarter finals, but Jeronimo de la Fuente hits back for Los Pumas. Under new coach Santiago Gomez Cora these young guns will be looking to build on last week's Plate victory and what a feather in the cap a win against England would be here. 7-7 at half time.
If Argentina win they are through to the Cup quarters, England need to win by eight points....
POOL D: SAMOA 43 ZIMBABWE 0
Playmaker Vavao Afemai turns scorer after first-half provider as Samoa continue on their merry way. But credit to Zimbabwe, who pick up their game in the second-half.
POOL D: SAMOA 34 ZIMBABWE 0
What a first-half quadruple from Fale So'oialo! The Zimbabweans are up against it with some missed tackles and things are just not going their way after early pressure deep inside Samoan territory. Some turnaround since then. So'oialo is in a class on his own on the wiong. Six tries in all.
New Zealand's Tomasi Cama, who racked up 21 points: "Our coach Gordon Tietjens has put pressure on us to perform. We really want to redeem ourselves after last week. We are going to rest up and know it will be a tough match if we manage to meet Fiji in the semis."
POOL C: NEW ZEALAND 48-7 WALES
Youth to the fore. Joe Webber sprints clear thanks to an incisive step and there's surely no way back for Wales. Their plight is made worse by a dreadful clash of heads with Rhys Jones and Ashley Evans, the former having to leave the field. Wales' riposte is gallant but Lote Raikabula is on hand to turn defence into another try-finishing attack before Webber's unerring pace finishes things off.
RT @IRBSevens: The view from above, #RIPNelsonMandela #RugbyValues http://t.co/fkav5KqzyI— Raymond W. L. Mercer (@Raymond W. L. Mercer) 07/12/2013 15:36
POOL C: NEW ZEALAND 26-5 WALES
Brilliant change of pace from D J Forbes, who evades two tackles and keeps on his feet to go over in the corner. Pivotal start and the Kiwis seem to have consigned last week's semi-final defeat to history. The attacking intent continues with Sam Dickson after a fine offload from Ambrose Curtis. There's more: Tomasi Cama's brilliant dummy creates space for a third score, his 142nd career try. Team support in attack is then finished off by Cama.
Gavin Cowley, TV commentator: "Just being able to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela, who I knew personally and have met before, is special. He was such a special man and I am so pleased that representatives of the whole world were able to be at this stadium named after him to say goodbye to him. It is a time of great sadness but also celebration because we as South Africans know what that great man did for us."
POOL C: PORTUGAL 33-17 USA
Isles atones for his first-half yellow and USA are showing some real grit to score twice in quick succession. And there's a third! Portugal's defence has stepped off the gas and Folau Niua scores through the middle for his second. This has been the USA's half without doubt despite Carl Murray finishing off in the corner. Portugal now need New Zealand to beat Wales to qualify.
Its absolutely epic watching @Carlin_Isles play rugby #irbsevens #sasevens just pass the ball to him and he will score every time!— Jonathan Le Grange (@Jonathan Le Grange) 07/12/2013 15:25
It was indeed a very emotional trubute to Nelson Mandela. South Africa's two opening wins have only added to the occasion, too. If they can reach tomorrow's Cup final, in front of a full house, it should be some spectacle to remember.
Amazing atmosphere in the singing of the national anthem in tribute to Madiba! #rugby #sevens #madiba… http://t.co/RvJ0nKjT2U— #RIPNelsonMandela (@#RIPNelsonMandela) 07/12/2013 15:13
Thanks so much @IRBSevens, @SouthAfrica7s @bethcoalter That was a most fitting tribute to #NelsonMandela! http://t.co/LCSicqd0eV— BlitzBokke.com (@BlitzBokke.com) 07/12/2013 15:13
POOL C: PORTUGAL 21-0 USA
An early yellow for Carlin Isles puts the US on the backfoot from the outset and Miguel Lucas has the strength to get the ball down for an early try. A missed tackle thereafter and David Mateus scores his 66th try for Portuguese for another score under the posts. His brace is confirmed before the break, picking up after a quick break from Pedro Bettencourt.
Right, then. Portugal, a team on the rise in the last few seasons in Sevens rugby, need to win against USA and Wales to lose to make sure of a Cup berth.
RT @IRBSevens: 16 teams are to take to pitch in honour of Nelson Mandela - the SA national anthem, followed by a 1 minute silence http://t.…— Jimmy Jαzz (@Jimmy Jαzz) 07/12/2013 15:03
All the teams and coaches are lining up on the outfield to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela at the stadium named after South Africa's former president. All the teams bar South Africa, who enter now to a rapturous reception and line-up infront of the 15 other sides to sing the national anthem.
Semi-catastrophe for Kenya. Indiscipline means that Kenya are down to six and Canada make inroads on the extra man to great effect. But Kenya aren't finished yet. One burst of pace can change everything. Step forward Horace Otieno, who goes over in style. The conversion ekes out a two-point lead before Kenya finish with a blitz and two tries. Gallant peformance, though, from the Canadians. It finishes 24-12.
Just watched Sevens with my cousin! @Cheslin_Kolbe11's try was amazing!☺♥ From now on I'm totally a Sevens supporter!!☺— Andrea Conradie (@Andrea Conradie) 07/12/2013 14:50
SA Sevens' Frankie Horne, who, staggeringly, has played in the 53 consecutive tournaments:
"We are pretty confident, things have been going our way a little bit so we just want to capitalise and finish top of our pool. It was a weird feeling and not something you really want to celebrate, but the crowd was amazing, sad about Madiba, but it is one of those things and life goes on. It has given us some motivation but you don't want to be too emotional because it can drain the body and drain the spirit, we need to focus on the job at hand and go game by game."
POOL B: KENYA 7-7 CANADA
The opening salvos are tight. It takes a few moves for Kenya to get into their stride. Once they do, they send the small pocket of Kenyan fans into rapture with a sizzling breakaway try. But Canada are right in sync here. Not for the first time, Justin Douglas breaks with breakneck pace before passing to the on-running Harry Jones to level at the break. Well-deserved.
Everytime I watch #sevens I tell myself I'm going next year. The vibe, people ye I like that. Really going next year though :)— lady sabrina ♥ (@lady sabrina ♥) 07/12/2013 14:37
Neil Powell, South Africa's coach, is in confident mood. "It's been a great start for us but it's still going to be a tough one against Kenya in the last game. It's been an emotional weekend and the guys are really feeding off the atmosphere inside the stadium today."
POOL B: SOUTH AFRICA 38-0 SPAIN
It takes three minutes, but South Africa finally break the deadlock after the break. Werner Kok latches on to a fine pass out wide to score emphatically in the corner. A minute later the best try of the match. Again it's Kok and again, we see tremendous pace and vision. He explodes through the gap in the centre and is at full-pelt for a 30-metre score. Kwagga Smith then rounds off a very impressive win.
POOL B: SOUTH AFRICA 21-0 SPAIN
South Africa start at a thunderous pace and expect there to be no let up - the hosts are quite simply in the mood for this tournament. Sampie Mastriet gets in on the act once more, finishing off a deft switch move in front of the posts. Cheslin Kolbe - at 20, a serious star in the making - then cuts through the Spain lines with acceleration and a wonderful step-off. It's three converted tries at the hooter.
SA's second match of the day, this time v @Spain7s #sa7s http://t.co/J47Krl9DiT— IRB Sevens (@IRB Sevens) 07/12/2013 14:24
The atmosphere has just been ratcheted up several notches. Yes, the Blitzbokke are out. Spain are the opponents.
Home alone with a cup of tea and watching HSBC sevens rugby series.there is nothing better.how i wish there were sports coffee shops— davidME (@davidME) 07/12/2013 14:10
POOL A: SCOTLAND 19-31 AUSTRALIA
Brilliant, crucial start after the break for Australia, with an attack down the blindside and a score into the corner by Luke Morahan. Four minutes left for the Scots to score twice. Can they turn this around? Colin Gregor makes an incisive run to halve the deficit and suddenly Scotland are still alive. But the game is put to bed by Shannon Walker with another one of those sizzling breaks. Scotland's two defeats means no Cup action tomorrow.
Just give the ball to Shannon Walker #GoAus # AUSvsSCO #SA7s @IRBSevens— Justin Coveney (@Justin Coveney) 07/12/2013 13:56
SCOTLAND 12 AUSTRALIA 19
Scotland start patiently but once they do find the space, they exploit it "like rats coming out of an aquaduct". Mark Bennett is the beneficiary with a touch into corner. Shannon Walker, cheeks puffing and into sixth gear, then levels for Australia with a piercing run down the left. It's patient passing from Australia now and they duly go into the lead with a two-man overlap before Luke Morahan goes over. Scotland narrow the gap to seven through Lee Jones.
A somewhat subdued opening as France and Fiji are locked in a battle for possession in the middle of the field, but the result is secured for Fiji when Viriviri dots down in the corner for his second and Fiji's fourth, before replacement Mosese Mawalu adds his first of the weekend. The final whistle blows and the Dubai champions win 27-7 against France.
Last week's Emirates Dubai champions Fiji look to make it two from two in Port Elizabeth, and are on course with a 17-7 lead over France. Osea Kolinisau, Benito Masilevu and Samisoni Viriviri scored the tries but it all looked a little ominous for the other sides in the competition, although Julien Saubade hit back for Les Bleus before the half time whistle blew.
@IRBSevens. Great game by Argentina love the spirit shown by all of the teams this is gonna be a great weekend #rugbyrules #mylife— garyrossouw (@garyrossouw) 07/12/2013 13:34
Well that was a match to savour with both sides gunning for a second win in two and nothing given. Alatasi Tupou brought the scores level at 12-12 before Argentina scored perhaps the best team try of the day with all players having an involvement and finished off nicely when Jeronimo de la Fuente offloaded for Matias Moroni to do the honous. A successful conversion took their lead to seven points but Samoa went the entire length of the field to draw the scores level once again! This time Ritchie ah Chong received the ball out wide before beating two men, before an offload to Vavao Afemai, who in turn passed to Faalemiga Selesele to make the score 19-19, but Diego Palma brought an end to the match with his speed too much, after a gruelling match, for the Samoan defence to keep up with. 26-19
Phew, after a scoreless first half of the first half it is Los Pumas who broke the deadlock in a very, very physical encounter against Samoa with Nicolas Bruzzone crossing for the first try but Lio Lolo hits back almost immediately to give the islanders a 7-5 lead as his was under the posts. On the stroke of half time Ramiro Moyano puts his side back in front with an interception try. Samoa coach Viliamu Punivalu won't be happy with that. 12-7
Gavin Cowley, TV commentator: "Cracking start, tries aplenty, including two surprise results! Bring on the rest of the day."
Argentina and Samoa both won their opening matches in Port Elizabeth, so expect this one to be a cracker
So Dan Norton is now second in England's all-time leading points scoring charts, moving ahead of his coach Simon Amor with his try in that victory against Zimbabwe. Can he now go and catch the all-time leading points scorer of all countries, Ben Gollings?
Great rugby. Great atmosphere. Great Place. Port Elizabeth Sevens bringing the heat, Blitzbokke all the way! #itsgotime— andrestofberg (@andrestofberg) 07/12/2013 13:11
Cecil Afrika was in fine form for South Africa in their victory over Canada, which is ominous for the other 15 teams at this tournament....
England coach Simon Amor is emphatic where England can improve: "We're looking pretty tired and fatigued. It was fairly indecisive and throwing silly passes but hopefully we'll rectify that for Argentina. I'm looking to see moe dog from the guys out there and get the basics right."
POOL D: ENGLAND 35-7 ZIMBABWE
Well-deserved, converted try from Zimbabwe to open the scoring after the break. England down to six men, though, Dan Norton guilty of throwing the ball away. Can Zimbabwe make further inroads? They can't but they do limit England's scoring options in the second-half until the last seconds as Jeff Williams rounds off a great move by latching on to Norton's offload. Plenty of positives all round for both sides,
That try from @Dan_Norton4 sees him move into 2nd in @Official_RFU all-time leading points scorer in @IRBSevens ahead of coach S.Amor— IRB Sevens (@IRB Sevens) 07/12/2013 12:56
POOL D: ENGLAND 28-0 ZIMBABWE
Fake pass, an almost 90 degree swerve and Dan Norton goes second in the all-time points list for England by splitting the Zimbabwe defence. Brilliant try. England showing some deft skill here. First Jeff Williams, then Tom Mitchell converts his try in front of the posts by giving the opposition the outside shoulder and going over for England's third score.
A jubilant Portugal captain, Pedro Leal: "We played really well. We weren't really there against New Zealand earlier. We trained well in the week and now we want the Cup quarter-finals like we made last year."
POOL C: WALES 17-28 PORTUGAL
David Mateus starts the second half as he started the first, with a breakaway try and Portugal's fourth score. Frustration very much evident from Wales, who haven't been at the races today. Portugal, though, have been superb. There is Welsh respite though: three tries in 90 seconds through James Davies and Luke Morgan. But it's not enough, great win for Portugal.
POOL C: WALES 0-21 PORTUGAL
Beautifully-measured kick down field and it falls kindly to David Mateus, who gleefully goes over for the first score of the day for Portugal. Well, well, well. The pressure they're exerting is also telling. Wales can't find any rhythm and Portugal are exploiting the Welsh lines to great affect. A second try too! For Wales, their half is summed up by James Davies' yellow for throwing the ball away. Portugal then make use of the extra player as Pedro Bettencourt goes over. SHOCK ON THE CARDS!
D J Forbes, New Zealand captain, is in confident mood after another try-fest: "We want to make sure we give everyone their game time. It's so far so good and we are building quite nicely after last week."
POOL C: NEW ZEALAND 43-7 UNITED STATES
The floodgates open at the start of the second-half. Lote Raikabula runs free down the right flanks before rising star Gillies Kaka latches on to a lovely offload and a burst of speed for another score. Kaka doubles up and that's New Zealand's second successive 43-point match.
A big shout out to @HoracioDelBusto who is playing in his 50th @IRBSevens tournament. Those are the fundamentals. #HalfCenturion— Kenya Sevens (@Kenya Sevens) 07/12/2013 12:23
@Carlin_Isles the man!!! Haha jumping up and down cheering him on! All the way! @IRBSevens— Finbar Aherne (@Finbar Aherne) 07/12/2013 12:09
POOL C: NEW ZEALAND 22-7 UNITED STATES
Exceptional pace on show - from both sides. Gillies Kaka is first on the score sheet for the Kiwis. But Carlin Isles then shows some sizzling speed through the middle. The 10-second man, the fastest man in Sevens' rugby, levels proceedings brilliantly, touching down under the posts. It's the Sherwin Stowers show thereafter, completing a fine hat-trick in just seven minutes!
So, first round of pool matches are complete. New Zealand and Fiji looked very impressive, as did France. South Africa showed class on home soil too. New Zealand and United States will kick off proceedings in a few minutes.
Kenya coach Paul Treu describes his team's start as "scrappy" but the South African seems pretty happy with their performance. The former Blitzbokke coach is also overwhelmed by the emotional scenes at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, a poignant time for the rugby-loving country.
@IRBSevens Sitting on the lounge all night watching the 7s. Lovin it so far apart for the loss to Fiji.— N.Forster (@N.Forster) 07/12/2013 11:51
POOL B: KENYA 28-0 SPAIN
Great angles from Kenya as Horace Otieno, in his 50th IRB tournament, puts on the gas burners and splits the Spanish lines for Kenya's third score. A fine quick-fire overlap moments later, sees Oscar Ayodi run on to an overload and Spain are left flat-footed. Confident opening win from the Kenyans as Spain finish with five men, Ignacio Martin guilty of tackling in the air.
POOL B: KENYA 14-0 SPAIN
Not for nothing is Collins Injera, the fourth-leading try scorer of all time. He scampers through for the opening try before Andrew Amonde creates an overlap and sheer power sees him go through two Spaniards to double the lead. A 100 per cent tackle completion from the Kenyas for good measure against a resilient Spain outfit.
South Africa captain Kyle Brown attempts to sum up the emotional atmosphere at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium: "I would love to give you an explanation but my words wouldn't do it justice. It´s a real honour and a privilege to be a South African today."
Here come the ever-so-popular Kenyans. Spain are their Pool B opponents.
POOL B: SOUTH AFRICA 24-7 CANADA
The hosts start their tournament with a convincing display. But Canada gave South Africa plenty to think about there with a pleasing physical encounter. A try apiece after the break, Philip Mack breaking down stout defence from South Africa before Kwagga Smith rounds off the win.
Everyone on their feet. #RIPNelsonMandela #sa7s http://t.co/WZtsMP0R9r— IRB Sevens (@IRB Sevens) 07/12/2013 11:19
POOL B: SOUTH AFRICA 17-0 CANADA
A rampant start from South Africa, who look right in the mood to deliver an opening win. Power and strength aplenty from the off as Sampie Mastriet goes clear for the first score. A fine team move is then finished off brilliantly by the ever-so-classy Cecil Afrika, who drops his shoulder and evades the Canadian defence with some sidestepping magic. 'Coast to coast' rugby before the hooter sees Kyle Brown go over.
.@bokrugby v @RugbyCanada at the #sa7s a moments silence to take place before the match starts http://t.co/E0Phe4Jt9A— IRB Sevens (@IRB Sevens) 07/12/2013 11:14
The Blitz Bokke enter the arena to tumultuous cheers. A moment's silence now as the South Africans huddle together to remember Nelson Mandela.
#itsgotime for the BlitzBokke @IRBsevens only a few more minutes! Good luck to the best team!!! #SA7s http://t.co/fUkI9tuGKW— kehly windvogel (@kehly windvogel) 07/12/2013 11:10
POOL A: SCOTLAND 23-31 FRANCE
The points continue to mount after the break and a marvellous a French move - quick-fire passing down the right flank - is finished off by Manoel Dall Igna. Scotland's record points scorer Andrew Turnbull runs free moments later but this is an impressive victory by the French.
As Sammy eludes to below, Scotland do look regal but it's the French all-white strip that is producing the goods at the moment.
Loving the #Scotland7s Purple Tees. Real touch of royalty @SA7s @IRBSevens— Sammy Muraya (@Sammy Muraya) 07/12/2013 10:56
POOL A: SCOTLAND 7-26 FRANCE
Can France atone for last week's performance in Dubai? By their own standards they were below par, but France's all-time leading points scorer, Paul Albaladejo, gets Les Bleus off and running. Undeterred, Scotland reply as Alex Glashan finishes a fine passing move in the corner. Almost immediately 33-year-old speedster Julien Candelon, then goes under the poles. Bundles of space enveloping in this one and Candelon and Vincent Deniau further exploit the Scottish defence once more.
Fiji coach Ben Ryan is a demanding taskmaster: "I thought we we a bit sluggish, maybe a little casual at the start. I've told the boys there's a target on our back (after last week's victory at the Emirates Dubai Sevens). They were probably shocked at the amount of physical expercise I've made them do of late but I wanted them ready for this weekend."
POOL A: FIJI 26-5 AUSTRALIA
Benito Masilevu gets in on the act soon after the restart, surging through for Fiji's third score as missed tackles begin to mount for Australia. Fiji look in fine fettle while the Wallabies just can't find their rhythm. The win is confirmed thanks to a fine pick-up and scamper over the line from Emosi Mulevoro. But not before a late consolation try from Shannon Walker.
Perhaps the highlight of the second-half, though, comes from the touchline. Yes, the BlitzBokke have entered the stadium! A huge roar from the crowd ensues.
POOL A: FIJI 14-0 AUSTRALIA
The champions of Dubai open up in South Africa with a dominating first-half display. Perennial try-scorer, Samisoni Viriviri, breaches the Aussie backlines to open the scoring before captain Osea Kolinisau capitalises on space down the centre for his 50th try.
Right, it's Fiji up against Australia. Should be a cracker.
POOL D: ARGENTINA 31-5 ZIMBABWE
Argentina are quick out of the blocks once more. Matias Moroni creates an overlap 10 metres out and jogs over the line to give Argentina some breathing space. Zimbabwe are under the cosh but confident in spinning the ball wide. They are still in their half and the pressure soon tells as an Argentina overturn sees sub Diego Palma go over the line. Agustin Cortes makes sure of a resounding victory but Zimbabwe showed glimpses of promise their - especially with their pace.
RT @Justin_Coveney: Pure genuine speed from Zimbabwe 7s. Brings back memories of Philippines loss to Zimbabwe on the bell at the 2012 HK7s …— IRB Sevens (@IRB Sevens) 07/12/2013 10:14
POOL D: ARGENTINA 10-5 ZIMBABWE
Lucas de Vincenzi opens the scoring for the Argentines, resplendent in their bright pink outfits once more. But a creative Zimbabwe are holding their own with a series of pacy attacks. Argentina thwart their dominance as Martin Chiappesoni gallops 50 metres to double the lead before a resilient Zimbabwe break down the right flank and speedster Njabulo Ndlovu goes over.
Great to see @rhodridavies9 making his debut on the @IRBSevens circuit for Wales! #Step #Gas— Ianto Griffiths (@Ianto Griffiths) 07/12/2013 09:46
POOL D: ENGLAND 14-24 SAMOA
Great hands from Dan Norton sees Phil Burgess break through the backlines and England eke out a slender lead. But Samoa are not out of this yet. Alatasi Tupou hands off Mat Turner three times on the left flank and his strength sees Samoa regain the lead. What an upset this will be if they can hold on - confirmed by Fomai Ah Ki who picks the ball up and switches inside under the posts. What a start to the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens.
.@zimbabwerugby #sevens next up to face @unionargentina in PE #sa7s http://t.co/a8kw6TwW6C— IRB Sevens (@IRB Sevens) 07/12/2013 09:55
POOL D: ENGLAND 7-12 SAMOA
Samoa may have an inexperienced line-up this season, but what a confident, sharp start. They are rewarded after a series of attacks as pure strength from Lio Lolo opens up the scoring into the right-hand corner. England have a match on their hands now and they go level thanks to a fend off, an offload and a 50-metre sprint from Dan Norton. Back come Samoa and an incisive pass to Sani Niue sees him dive over in the corner. Brilliantly well-deserved lead at the hooter.
RT @IRBSevens: England v Samoa next here at the #SA7s http://t.co/RI9SC6qPLf— Manuel Bermúdez (@Manuel Bermúdez) 07/12/2013 09:47
England are next up against Samoa, the first game of Pool D. An enticing clash in the offing...
.@WelshRugbyUnion #sevens bench look on as they beat the USA, with the crowd also filling up nicely @NMB_Stadium http://t.co/LKTRgifUXJ— IRB Sevens (@IRB Sevens) 07/12/2013 09:41
A very relieved Wales captain Lee Williams after beating the USA: "We got a little complacent after kick-off after we were three tries up. But we dug deep and came up with the victory."
POOL C: WALES 26-10 UNITED STATES
James Davies, carrying his form from last week in Dubai, combines pace and power to surge through under the post for his second try. Moments later the US join the party. A kick and charge goes over the try line, evades three players before Stephen Tomasin touches down. And the turnaround continues... Wales have numbers on the right and Brett Thompson hauls himself over the line. Nine points the difference but Davies goes over the line on the hooter. Far from one-sided though.
It's looking like a cricket score 43 to 0 #NZ over #Portugal @IRBSevens #SA7s— LBKV (@LBKV) 07/12/2013 09:19
POOL C: WALES 12-0 UNITED STATES
Few chances ensue in the opening minutes. Wales, playing in navy blue and green, finally break through thanks to James Davies' pace. And we see his now-traditional try celebration too (licking his fists and touching his hair). The Welsh are now into their stride and they have numbers and space on the right before Ashley Evans goes over.
POOL C: NEW ZEALAND 43-0 PORTUGAL
Pace was the theme of the first-half, strength in the second. Sherwin Stowers simply motors through Manuel Costa, who is knocked backwards, for his hat-trick under the posts. Joe Webber then dances down the left before unleashing a marvellous pass inside to Tomasi Cama, who scores his 141st try for New Zealand. Curtis then drops his shoulder and finds himself in space score his second. This is a runaway, seven-try romp.
POOL C: NEW ZEALAND 24-0 PORTUGAL
We're off and running. And who's that causing havoc down the right flank? Yes, it's rising star Ambrose Curtis, who cuts through the Portuguese defence to open the scoring. Sherwin Stowers then sees himself in acres of space a minute later to double the lead. Portugal have yet to make inroads into the Kiwi half and moments before the hooter, DJ Forbes goes over from two metres out. And there's still time for Stowers to breach the Portuguese backline too.
According to New Zealand captain DJ Forbes, Fiji's 44-0 victory, the All Blacks' biggest defeat in the 14-year existence of the HSBC Series World Sevens, was described by coach Sir Gordon Tietjens as the "perfect game of sevens". When "Titch", the man who has led New Zealand to 11 of the 14 HSBC Series World Sevens title triumphs, says the All Blacks were outplayed by "perfect" sevens, you know you were watching history.
This time last week we were in the business end of the Emirates Dubai Sevens, the second stop on the HSBC Sevens World Series, where Fiji caused a huge upset when they trounced defending champions New Zealand in a record 44-0 victory in the semi-finals before holding off South Africa 29-17 in the final. Under the canny stewardship of Englishman Ben Ryan, the Fijians are looking formidible - can they make it two in a row in Port Elizabeth?
So significant was Mandela's role in South Africa's Rugby World Cup victory on home soil in 1995, Hollywood even made a film about it. Although Madiba - the clan name of which he was a member of - admitted he was never a huge rugby fan, he understood the game embodied the Afrikaaner ethos and how much hurt the international sporting ban during the apartheid years was felt. And among his many rugby legacies is this wonderful tournament in the picturesque city of Port Elizabeth.
As a fitting tribute to Nelson Mandela, all 16 teams competing in this weekend's tournament will emerge on the field at 1702 local time for the South African national anthem Nikosi Sikelel' iAfrika (God Bless South Africa), sung in Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and English, the national languages of the country, ahead of the hosts' match against Kenya. This will be followed by a minute's silence before a memorial video of the great man's life. A truly emotional gesture.
The passing of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the first black president of South Africa and the man who sketched the brilliant colours into the Rainbow Nation, has left an indelible impact on the Eastern Cape, the country and the world. We're pretty sure we won't be the only ones watching the third leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series with lumps in our throats.
Could there be a more poignantly named sporting event was taking place in the world this weekend? Welcome one and all to the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament in Port Elizabeth, a city rejoicing and mourning the inspirational life of one of history's greatest ever statesmen.