NZ team remain unbeaten at Dubai Sevens

19:59, Nov 30 2012
Dubia sevens
ON THE RUN: New Zealand's Belgium Tuatagaloa (L) challenges Russia's Yury Gostyuzhev.

New Zealand and Fiji remain the only unbeaten sides after an upset-filled first day at the Dubai Sevens.

The Kiwis started strongly defeating Wales, outlasting Russia, and eliminating Argentina, which had earlier lost to Wales 14-7, during the qualifying round.

They will face Portugal in the quarter finals after the minnow team provided two massive upsets; beating both South Africa and England for the first time.

Portugal began a memorable day by tying with Samoa at 19-19 but with a minute to go lost possession and Lio Lolo scored his third try for Samoa to win 24-19. 

Portugal's Aderito Esteves dotted down as the fulltime horn blew to upset South Africa 12-10, then Portugal blew a 19-7 lead against England in a downpour.

England rallied to lead 21-19 but with 30 seconds left, England's Dan Norton was yellow-carded for interference and Pedro Leal kicked over the resulting penalty for 22-19.

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In injury time, England tapped a penalty but Dan Bibby threw a bad pass inches from the right corner. Samoa earned the pool's other quarterfinal spot by dealing to South Africa 10-5.

South Africa and England also lost their last matches in a tough pool with Samoa to miss out on the quarters; England for the second time in as many tournaments, and South Africa after reaching the semifinals in the season-opener on the Gold Coast.

Fiji beat Spain 14-0, Scotland 22-14 and Kenya 14-10 to top its pool and set up a quarterfinal with France.

The other last-eight matchups are Samoa vs. Wales, and Canada vs. Kenya.

Canada downed France 20-0, then came from 28-14 down against Australia with two minutes to go to draw 28-28.

The Canadians booked their first quarterfinals since February by beating the United States 26-7.

In the other decider, France scored early against Australia and held on for the last 12 minutes to win 7-0.

AP