Kiwis one win from sevens crown
June 2, 2001

New Zealand are one win away from successfully defending their IRB World Sevens Series crown which they clinched in Paris last year after easing through to the quarter-finals of the final leg
of the tournament here Saturday.

The men in black were unbeaten on the opening day at this weekend's tournament in Newport, Wales, and have only to beat hosts Wales in Sunday's quarter-finals at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to secure the world title.

They lead nearest rivals Australia by eight points on the series table, and need only to make the semi-finals to win the series.

The equally impressive Australian team must hope that Wales reproduce the shock of the weekend, which would hand them the crown if they went on to win the Welsh tournament.

New Zealand waltzed through their pool matches against Argentina, West Indies and Portugal, scoring 114 points and conceding just five.

Australia were struggling to raise a sweat getting past Wales, Canada and a disappointing Scotland, and scored 119 points against only one try conceded.

It was a disappointing day for the Northern Hemisphere teams, with France and Scotland losing all three of their pool games.

England suffered the ignominy of a draw against minnows Spain and a loss to Georgia before regaining some pride by leading Fiji 15-0 before the erratic Fijians got going and ran in 19 unanswered points.

In Pool D, South Africa and Samoa had a hard-fought match, with Samoa winning 28-10 to top the pool.

They meet Georgia Sunday in what should be a comfortable entry to the semi-finals.

South Africa's loss means they face Fiji in the quarter-finals. Flying Fijian wing Rupeni Caucau was the individual star of the day, picking up eight tries in two games, while New Zealand captain Karl TeNana shook off a hamstring injury to dot down six times.

Draw for IRB World Series Sevens quarter-finals to be played in the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on Sunday following Saturday's matches here:


New Zealand v Wales
Samoa v Georgia
Fiji v South Africa
Australia v Argentina

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