New Zealand and Australia continued their charge for the League Winners title at HSBC SVNS Singapore as Great Britain and Brazil faltered in their hopes of securing the final spot in the Grand Final.

Locked at the top of the standings on 106 points coming into Singapore’s debut on the women’s series, whoever performs best between New Zealand and Australia this weekend will be crowned League Winners, and both sides finished the opening day with two wins from two to top their respective pools.

Great Britain, who sit two points above ninth-place Brazil in the final Madrid spot, lost both their games against Fiji and Australia but Brazil could not capitalise as they also went winless against the same opposition.

The two will face each other tomorrow in what will be a crucial match to each nation’s hopes of a top-eight berth.

Elsewhere, 11th seed South Africa produced the upset of the day as they beat the USA 14-12 with a try in the final play of the game, but were beaten 49-0 by an impressive France side who scored 83 points in their opening two games.

Pool A: Woodman-Wickliffe hits 250

New Zealand’s unstoppable form continued in Singapore as they cruised to a 38-7 win against Spain in their opening game, before beating Ireland 31-10. The series leaders had the upper hand after the first half by 12-5, Portia Woodman-Wickliffe scoring her 250th try, and added three more in the second to advance to the quarter finals.

Despite their loss, Ireland sit second in the pool after one score was enough for them to take down Canada 5-0 in their opening game. A cagey affair opened up just before half time, Vicki Elmes Kinlan’s try proving decisive.

Fifth seed Canada recovered from their first session loss to defeat Spain 28-7 in confident fashion to keep Cup quarter-final hopes alive.

Pool B: Ferocious France 

France began their efforts to cement third in the standings with two dominant performances in Singapore, following up a seven-try 41-7 win against Japan with a 49-0 shut out of South Africa, scoring another seven without missing a single conversion. 

It was a disappointing second result for the Springbok Women's Sevens, who had played so well in their incredible 14-12 comeback win over the USA in their opener.

South Africa had been five points down as the clock moved to the red but struck from a scrum five metres out, Simamkele Namba diving over to the right of the posts to allow Nadine Roos to slot the crucial conversion.

The USA, who won bronze and silver in their last two tournaments, compounded their woes as they fell 22-12 to Japan in their second game, their first defeat to the Asian team since 2015. With France to play tomorrow, making the Cup quarter-finals will be a tough ask for the Women's Sevens Eagles. 

Pool C: Australia on top

Australia responded to losing their place at the top of the SVNS Series standings for the first time this season with two wins from two on the opening day. They beat Brazil 27-10 first up but were made to work hard for it, the South Americans neck and neck at 10-10 until the ninth minute.  

Brazil needed a result to put the pressure back on Great Britain, but Fiji’s 19-0 lead at the break was too great to overcome as Fiji scored twice more to win 29-7.

Great Britain, meanwhile, fell short against a feisty Fijiana in their opener, losing 24-10 as the sixth seeds ran away with it in the second half. A bonus point against Australia could have been decisive to their final place in the standings, but the League Winners contenders were at their best in the final game of the day as they scored eight tries to win 42-0.