Impressive Samoans looking good in LA
February 15, 2004

The first ever World Sevens Series event in the USA got underway on Saturday in front of an enthusiastic crowd who saw some excellent performances, most notably from Samoa who look favourites to take the title.

There most notable win was against over England who they beat 19-17 in the day's final match - while Canada's two wins also prove that the Sevens game enjoys more depth with every event.

Fiji started the day well with a 33-7 victory over Kenya - who by their standards suffered a torrid day, also losing to Argentina and Chile - before beating Chile 45-7 but losing 33-5 to the Pumas.

South Africa started with an easy win over Korea 35-0, before overpowering Uruguay 59-0 and outplaying France to win 21-7.

England, for their part, were impressive in beating the hosts 40-0, before recording a 50-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago, but the fact that they could not unlock Samoa's granite defence in the day's last game will be of concern to coach Joe Lydon.

New Zealand, the fourth unbeaten team besides Samoa, South Africa and Argentina, were made to work hard for their wins, opening with a 34-12 victory over an impressive Canadian outfit, before coming out on top in a gruelling match against Tonga, 17-14. Australia offered less resistance in the day's penultimate match, which the men in black won 39-5.

Aside from the 'big guns' Argentina's obvious investment in the Sevens format is clearly paying off, Canada also enjoyed a fine day, and with Samoa back to their best the race for this title is nothing if not compelling.

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