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Spain the men's stars and five women's teams win two each in Cape Town
It was a cracking first day of action at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series event in Cape Town on Friday.
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series never fails to deliver in terms of thrills and spills and, just a few days after the Dubai event, the best men’s and women’s teams in the world are at it again in Cape Town, South Africa.
Here is a recap of day one of the action from Friday…
SPAIN DEFEAT NEW ZEALAND
Each men’s team played one Pool match on day one and Spain were the talk of Cape Town after defeating New Zealand 14-10 in Pool C.
Manu Moreno scored a try in the first half, converted by Juan Martinez, to make it 7-0 at the break.
Regan Ware’s five pointer early in the second period brought things back to 7-5 before a try and conversion by Juan Ramos gave Spain a 14-5 advantage with just a minute left.
What a start for Spain 🇪🇸@ferugby defeat New Zealand for just the second time on the #HSBC7s stage#CapeTown7s pic.twitter.com/rDjGVaMmtg— World Rugby 7s (@WorldRugby7s) December 9, 2022
Moses Leo scored a late consolation for New Zealand, but Spain held on to spark celebrations.
Earlier in Pool C, tries from Agustin Fraga (2) Juan Manuel Molinuevo saw Argentina get the better of Kenya 19-5.
Pool A ended day one and Joseva Talacolo (2), Pilipo Bukayaro, Waisea Nacuqu and Iowane Raturaciri scored tries for Fiji as they outclassed France 33-0.
Canada then gave the hosts South Africa a real scare and led 7-0 early on thanks to an Alex Russell try converted by Brock Webster.
Muller du Plessis and Shilton van Wyk's unconverted efforts had South Africa 10-7 up after 11 minutes.
Ryan Oosthuizen’s try converted by Ricardo James Duarttee then got them home 17-7, but they knew they had been in a real tie.
Pool B started with Samoa defeating Uruguay 21-10, Tuna Tuitama, Uaina Sione and Vaa Apelu Maliko the try scorers for the victors.
Harry McNulty scored one try and Chay Mullins two as Ireland got things up and running with a 19-5 win over Japan.
Great Britain managed to defeat Hong Kong champions Australia.
Australia were leading the Pool D clash 19-14 with just moments remaining when Femi Sofolarin managed to score the equalising try and then Kaleem Barreto held his nerve to kick the winning conversion.
Great Britain’s other tries in the game came from Freddie Roddick and Max McFarland while Australia’s tries went to Nathan Lawson, Dietrich Roache and Stuart Dunbar.
FIVE SIDES TWO FROM TWO IN WOMEN’S EVENT
Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Fiji and the USA all won two matches from two in the women’s event on day one.
In Pool A, Ireland began with a 33-12 victory over Spain, Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe bagging three tries and Beibhinn Parsons two with Lucy Mulhall converting four of them.
Last week’s Dubai winners Australia carried on where they had left off by thumping hosts South Africa in the same pool. Charlotte Caslick, Maddison Levi (2), Demi Hayes, Bienne Terita, Faith Nathan (2) and Faythe Manera were their try scorers in that one.
Later in the day, Ireland beat South Africa 24-0 - Murphy Crowe scoring two more tries - while Australia were again on fire to see off Spain 38-0. Nathan led the way with two tries and on day two there will be a fascinating match between themselves and Ireland.
Amee-— World Rugby 7s (@WorldRugby7s) December 9, 2022
GO!@ameeleigh95 is impossible to stop once she gets going ⚡️#CapeTown7s | #HSBC7s | @IrishRugby pic.twitter.com/0L3p8AMshc
Pool B began with Lavena Cavuru scoring one try and Ana Maria Naimasi two, along with one conversion by both, as Fiji edged out Great Britain 19-10.
New Zealand’s campaign began with a 31-7 triumph over Brazil, Shiray Kaka and Jazmin Felix-Hotham running in tries before a hat-trick from Risi Pouri-Lane.
Despite tries from Luiza Campos and Marcelle Souza, later in the day Brazil lost 31-10 to Fiji. The Fijian try scorers were Raijieli Daveua, Naimasi, Cavuru, Alowesi Nakoci and Reapi Ulunisau.
New Zealand were just 7-0 up at half-time versus Great Britain, but second half tries by Michaela Blyde and Kelly Brazier saw them to a 19-7 win.
Like in Pool A, it means two unbeaten sides will meet on day two.
USA are top of Pool C after two matches each.
In the first match in that Pool, Cannada led 19-0 versus France at half-time, but tries by Carla Neisen, Lilou Graciet and Camille Grassineau - plus two Graciet - conversions gave France a draw.
Japan put up a good fight, but tries from Kris Thomas, Kristi Kirshe and Kayla Canett as well as two conversions from the latter, saw USA winning that tie 19-14.
Later on, two tries from Lucy Hapulat and other tries from Ian Jason and Grassineau helped France on their way to beating Japan 26-12.
Bianca Farella’s converted score put Canada 7-0 up in the first half versus USA before the latter came battling back.
Naya Tapper, Kirshe and Jaz Gray (2) were the try scorers and Canett weighed in with two conversions in a 24-7 triumph for USA.
WHAT’S ON DAY TWO?
On day two on Saturday, the men’s Pools come to an end with two more matches for each team. Then the Cup quarter-finals will be played to set things up for day three.
And in the women’s event, day two sees the Pools completed and then the Cup quarter-finals being played also.