Australia, Fiji and New Zealand all topped their pools with perfect records on an exhilarating first day of action at the HSBC Los Angeles Sevens.
HIGHLIGHTS: Action from Day One at the LA Sevens!
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) March 1, 2020
Hosts USA, who are aiming for a hattrick of victories on home soil, thrilled an enthusiastic crowd with victories in their opening two matches to secure a quarter-final spot before losing to Australia in their final pool game on day one of the HSBC Los Angeles Sevens at the Dignity Health Sports Park. Australia topped Pool C with three successive victories over Scotland, Samoa and USA.
USA speedsters Carlin Isles and Perry Baker – two of the fastest athletes on the planet – made history on the inaugural day of the newest event on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series as both achieved the outstanding milestone of 200 Series tries.
With both players entering the day on 199 tries, it was Isles who won the race to record the double century as he scored in the hosts opening match victory over Samoa, before Baker followed suit in their next game against Scotland.
Reigning Olympic Champions Fiji were on fine form, dominating Pool A with victories over France, Argentina and invitational team Korea. France, who currently sit third in the series standings, claimed the runners up position to qualify for the quarter-finals.
Current Series leaders New Zealand showed why they are on top of the standings with a trio of convincing wins to reach tomorrow’s quarter finals as Pool D winners. A last minute try by Ben Harris in a 21-17 defeat to the All Blacks was enough to secure England’s passage to the quarter-finals as Pool D runners up on points difference from Spain and Wales.
Pool B saw South Africa come out on top with victories over Canada and Kenya and a thrilling 19-19 draw with Ireland in the last game of the pool, which meant the newly promoted Irish team qualify for the quarter-finals.
The quarter-final line up sees reigning Series Champions Fiji take on England at 09:43 local time (GMT -8) followed by Australia v Ireland. Current series leaders New Zealand face France while South Africa and USA complete the schedule.
Play gets underway at 08:15 local time when Argentina take on Wales in the first of the ninth place quarter-finals. The final takes place at 16:26 local time.
With under five months to go until the rugby sevens tournament kicks off at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on 27 July, all teams will be looking to build on their preparations ahead of competing on the world’s biggest stage.
As a future Olympic host city Los Angeles was quick to take to the excitement and entertainment of rugby sevens action and another large and exuberant crowd is expected on Sunday.