Updated: 05/12/2013 03:10 | By Agence France-Presse

New Zealand star as London sets sevens crowd record

HSBC Sevens World Series champions New Zealand were the only side to win all three of their matches in front of a record crowd on the first day of the 2013 Marriott London Sevens on Saturday.


New Zealand star as London sets sevens crowd record

Players fight for the ball during the Rugby Union England Sevens match betweem France and South Africa at Twickenham Stadium, southwest of London, on May 11, 2013. South Africa won the match 17-14.

Playing in front of a new world record one-day crowd for Rugby Sevens of 71,898 at Twickenham, hosts England gave home fans plenty to cheer early on beating Fiji and Samoa before losing to Argentina in the final match of the day.

England now face South Africa in the Cup quarter-finals on Sunday's second day with New Zealand up against Argentina. In the other quarter-finals, Kenya will line up against Fiji, while Australia will play the United States.

Eleven-time series champions New Zealand beat Canada 24-7 in their opening match having trailed 7-0, and also came from 17-0 behind to defeat Kenya 31-17 with Kurt Baker and David Raikuna scoring twice each.

Humphrey Kayanage returned to the Kenyan squad for the London Sevens and scored one of the tries of the day, running the entire length of the pitch, as his side beat Wales 31-19.

The reigning Rugby World Cup Sevens champions held on to a narrow 17-14 victory against Canada thanks to Adam Thomas' late try and a try-saving tackle from Alex Walker in their second match.

Dan Norton scored England's 1000th point of the Series during a 34-7 defeat of Samoa. Norton scored their second hat-trick of the day after Jeff Williams crossed three times as the hosts defeated Fiji 27-0 in their opening match.

But England's final match of the day saw them beaten 26-17 by Argentina.

Los Pumas scored a try after just 50 seconds of that match and had their second just three minutes into the match as they established a 19-5 lead at the break.

"It's obviously disappointing to not finish the day with a win but our overall aim was to win our pool and we have done that with our biggest ever win over Samoa and another fine performance against Fiji," said England coach Ben Ryan.

"There are a lot of positives to take from today and this loss to Argentina actually gives us a sharp reminder that if we don't get everything right in the game you can pay the price quickly. New Zealand are the only side going unbeaten into Sunday and that just shows how competitive this tournament is.

"Playing South Africa in the quarter-finals is going to be a massive game but we are looking forward to it."

Facundo Panceyra Garrido scored with the last play as Los Pumas beat Samoa 10-7, but the South Americans suffered a 24-0 loss to renowned Sevens side Fiji.

Australia beat France 35-12 to bounce back from an opening 5-0 defeat by South Africa and head into the Cup quarter finals as Pool A winners. In their second match Peter Schuster finished wonderfully to give Australia a 19-15 victory against the United States, despite a hat-trick from Brett Thompson.

Cecil Afrika snatched a dramatic late 17-14 victory for last weekend's Cup champions South Africa against France.

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