Dubai: Five-time winners and overall defending champions New Zealand maintained their unbeaten run in the pool matches to enter the quarters-finals of the second round of the HSBC Sevens World Series at the 7he Stadium in Dubai on Friday.
New Zealand will meet Argentina for a place in the semi-final on Saturday. Another top contender, England, who have four Dubai titles to their credit, made it to the quarters after winning two matches. They stumbled in their last match against Fiji. Fiji beat them 26-21 in the last game of the day.
Earlier, in a major upset of the tournament, the defending Dubai champions Samoa were send packing. They made a winning start against Russia 33-12 with Tulolo Tulolo scoring an hat-trick of tries. But luck eluded them later as they suffered a 19-12 loss to Argentina in their second match and were knocked out of the event when South Africa trounced them 26-5.
For consolation, Samoa will try their luck in the Bowl competition and face France, who lost all three of their matches.
Besides England and New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa, Wales, Kenya and Scotland progressed to the quarter-finals.
New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa and Wales remained unbeaten in their respective pool matches.
New Zealand, who are leading the series after lifting the Gold Coast Cup in Australia in the opening round of the series, defeated France, Portugal and Kenya.
They started the campaign against France and defeated them 24-5. Bolstered by the commanding victory, Kiwis completely outclassed Portugal and Kenya to end the day staying undefeated. Both Portugal and Kenya were blanked.
Their semi-final rivals Argentina made a comeback after losing to South Africa in their opening match to beat Samoa and Russia.
England began well after routing Canada 47-7.