New Zealand men’s, women’s teams perfect at Vancouver Sevens
VANCOUVER, Canada (AP) — New Zealand, Britain, Argentina and Ireland finished the day unbeaten on the first day of the Vancouver Sevens tournament on Friday while the United States, Australia, France, Ireland and New Zealand did the same in women’s play.
In men’s matches, series leaders New Zealand were 2-0 and will meet Samoa in a rematch of last weekend’s pool match in Los Angeles which ended with a win by the Pacific Islanders. Pool play concludes Saturday ahead of the quarterfinals, with semifinals and finals set for Sunday.
Argentina, which lost to New Zealand in the Los Angeles men’s final, got its campaign off to a winning start in Pool B, while South Africa’s Ricardo Duarttee’s slotted an extra-time conversion for the Blitzboks to draw level with France.
Ireland is at the top of Pool D, outscoring its opponents 85-12, while hosts Canada clinched a 29-12 win over Australia in the final match of the day.
New Zealand leads the men’s series standings with 107 points, followed by Argentina and South Africa with 86 each and Fiji in fourth with 84 points through six tournaments.
The New Zealand Black Ferns continued their impressive recent form in women’s play, which includes Cup victories in the last three tournaments in Cape Town, Hamilton and Sydney, outscoring their opponents 103–7 to lead Pool A.
Reigning series title holders Australia — led by Olympic gold medalist Charlotte Caslick who featured in her 250th rugby sevens series match against Japan — opened its tournament with a pair of victories to lead Pool B.
New Zealand leads the overall women’s standings with 78 points. Australia, the only other country to have won a tournament — in Dubai — is tied with the United States with 66 points each.
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