Australia have gone unbeaten on day one of the inaugural Sydney Sevens after a pulsating 17-17 draw with their tran-Tasman rivals New Zealand, with the Thunderbolts set for a quarter-final against England on Sunday.
Australia went into the last game of the day with the knowledge that they were safely through to the quarter-finals after beating Canada 26-12 in their second clash to finish in the top two in Pool A.
Jarryd Hayne sings with the Fiji Sevens team
Making a surprise appearance at promotional event in Sydney, Jarryd Hayne sings with the Fiji Sevens team.
Captain Ed Jenkins, who scored a try in the final game, was visibly disappointed with the draw, saying: "It's a bit bittersweet, they're a quality side. They took it out last week and for us to come that close and probably should have shut them out at the end of the game. A bit disappointing but we can look at the way that we didn't lose a game today."
Attacking linchpin Cameron Clark again proved why he is such a vital cog in the Australian Sevens squad, scoring a hat-trick of tries in front of a vocal home crowd during a 24-7 win in the hosts' first outing against Portugal at the Sydney Sevens.
Clark, the son of rugby guru and Fox Sports commentator Greg Clark, scored two of his tries at the corner flag in front of where around 100 "Clarky army" supporters were lapping it up.
The 22-year-old back was understandably pleased to start the day with a win, giving the sell-out crowd something to cheer about.
"There's been a lot of expectation around this weekend. First time it's come to Sydney in front of a big crowd so it's definitely good to get the first one out of the way," Clark said.
"It was good to get a couple in front of them [Clarky army], get them going early in the day. We're not really used to home support so it's nice to hear a few people cheering for us.
"We tried to definitely get off to a good start to try and really bring them into the game. Hopefully they can add a little bit extra when we need it, when there's not much left in the legs."
The home crowd also had the rare opportunity to support one of its own, with the Australian women's sevens team playing Ireland in a three-match series as a warm up for their next leg of the Women's World Series in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Captain Shannon Parry led her side to a comfortable 26-7 victory over Ireland as they soaked in the opportunity to play in front of their own supporters, with Australia not selected to host any leg of the women's series.
"A great opportunity here in Sydney. Fantastic crowd and what more could you ask for as a rugby player playing in front of a big crowd cheering for us? It was great," Parry said.
"In the warm up, there are people yelling out your name - it's something we haven't experienced before so definitely something special and something to remember."
New Zealand, winners of last weekend's Wellington Sevens, were given an early scare in their first game against Canada, trailing 12-5 at one point in the first half.
They eventually recovered to end the first half all square before powering to a 27-12 victory.
Fiji demonstrated why they are the reigning world series champions, racking up 80 points and only conceding five as they blitzed through their first two games against Samoa and France.
The Flying Fijians are out to prove that last weekend's semi-final loss against South Africa was a minor slip-up as they look to defend their Australian crown from the 2014-15 series.
Series leaders South Africa continue to be ravaged with injuries, with skipper Philip Snyman and Kwagga Smith going down in their 33-7 victory against Scotland, and sitting out in their 40-0 demolition of Russia in their next.