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New Zealand on brink of world sevens title

Damon Anderson of Australia in action against Scotland. Australia will play Argentina in the quarter-finals.

Damon Anderson of Australia in action against Scotland. Australia will play Argentina in the quarter-finals. Photo: Getty Images

New Zealand were just one win away from clinching a 10th Sevens World Series title in 13 years after the first day of the final leg of the championship at Twickenham here on Saturday.

But the big story of Saturday's play, which took place in front of a new world record Sevens crowd of 60,050, was that Spain, minnows in the 15-a-side game but an emerging force in this format, also advanced to the quarter-finals.

Spain stunned Wales 22-7 and beat Zimbabwe 38-0.

These results, allied to a respectable 19-5 loss to Fiji, saw Spain qualify as Pool C runners-up for their first appearance in the Cup quarter-finals of an IRB Sevens event where they will face Samoa on Sunday.

New Zealand came into the tournament with an 11-point lead at the top of the standings over second-placed Fiji.

They routed Russia 49-7 in their opening match, with Tomasi Cama and Frank Halai, both nominated for the IRB Sevens Player of the Year award, scoring two tries each.

New Zealand then saw off Kenya 24-0 but had to come from 10-0 down at half-time against Argentina in their final pool match for a 15-10 win secured by three unanswered second half tries from captain DJ Forbes, Mark Jackman and Joe Webber.

Victory over defending London champions South Africa in the quarter-finals on Sunday will give New Zealand an unassailable lead at the top of the table.

Fiji, Australia and Samoa were the other teams with 100 percent records heading into the last eight, the Samoans defeating hosts England 14-7 in the final match of Saturday's play.

The remaining quarter-finals see Fiji facing England and Australia playing Argentina.

Saturday's crowd surpassed the previous world record single day Sevens attendance of 54,357 set on the first day of last year's Twickenham event.

AFP

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
View All Fixtures
 
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