By Morris Rawal
Heavyweights Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa all cruised into the quarter-finals of the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens at Cape Town Stadium on Friday
Ireland also shocked England, France held off Canada, and Samoa thrashed the USA, with Argentina beating Kenya.
Defending champions New Zealand ran in seven tries in a thumping 43-5 victory over Scotland. Amanaki Nicole ran in twice on either side of Ngarohi McGarvey-Black’s try, with Akuila Rokolisoa converting his own try to make it 24-0 at the break.
Lee Jones cut the deficit for Scotland two minutes into the second half, but normal service resumed when Rokolisoa went over for his second. Tries from Lewis Ormond and Caleb Tangitau completed the rout.
In the penultimate men’s game, Fiji thrashed Wales 29-5, with tries from Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Joseva Talacolo, Elia Canakaivata, Kaminieli Rasaku, and Viwa Naduvalo.
Hosts South Africa closed the show on Friday evening with a 32-5 victory against Chile.
Angelo Davids scored two tries, with Sakoyisa Makata, Mfundo Ndhlovu, Christie Grobbelaar and Ronald Brown also going over.
Earlier, Argentina also cruised through their last-16 encounter, seeing off Kenya 22-7, thanks to tries from Matias Osadczuk, Joaquin de la Vega, Tobias Wade, and Alejo Lavayen.
Australia then sailed past Hong Kong’s conquerors Uruguay, with Maurice Longbottom and Henry Paterson scoring two tries apiece in their 35-0 win. Henry Hutchison also went over.
In the first last-16 match in South Africa, Harry McNulty scored the opening try for Ireland, which was converted by Mark Roche – who then crossed for his own try at the start of the second half to make it 12-0.
Jordan Conroy added a third try on 11 minutes, with Charlton Kerr getting a consolation for England to make the final score 17-5 to the Irish.
France booked their place in the last eight with a 19-7 victory against Canada.
Canada went in front when Phil Berna crossed after four minutes, but France replied immediately through Jean Pascal Barraque, whose try leveled it up at 5-5.
Two second-half tries from Nelson Epee – both converted by Barraque – then put France in the driving seat at 19-5 in front.
Brock Webster’s try and conversion in 12 minutes gave Canada hope, but France held on.
Samoa was the third team into the quarter-finals, putting six tries past the USA in a 40-12 victory.
Tries from Paul Scanlan and Melanie Matavao on either side of David Still’s score put Samoa 14-5 up at half-time.
Steve Tomasin converted his own try to cut the lead to 14-2 in 10 minutes. But Samoa soon ran away with the game, scoring quick-fire tries through Scanlan, Via Apelu Maliko, Motu Opetai, and Paul Eti Slater.