Fiji, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina were in scintillating form here today as all four recorded 100 per cent records on the opening day of the Gold Coast Sevens, round one of the HSBC Sevens World Series and the first qualifying event for Rio 2016.
Argentina began the day with a surprise 21-19 victory over England to gain the edge in Group D.
A debut try by Rodrigo Etchart was enough to separate the sides, with the Argentines following up the win with a 24-12 victory over the United States and a tense 14-12 victory over Canada, to see them top the final group.
England bounced back from their early loss to defeat both Canada and the US, and ensure their progression to the quarter-finals as group runners-up.
Defending Series and Gold Coast champions New Zealand looked invincible in their three fixtures today, as they recorded more than 100 points en route to hat trick of victories.
A 59-0 thrashing of Japan followed a 36-7 win over France for the Kiwis, who went on to win the decider against Samoa by 28 points to 17.
Despite the loss, Samoa will join the New Zealanders in the Cup quarter-finals after opening the day with 19-12 and 40-14 wins over France and Japan respectively.
After missing Glasgow 2014 due to their late reintroduction into the Commonwealth, Fiji had a point to prove here.
The newly-crowned Oceania champion did so in fine style, beating Scotland and Portugal by comfortable margins in their opening two encounters before thrashing Australia 35-12 in the group decider and the final match of the evening.
The hosts will have a chance for redemption tomorrow as they progress to the Cup quarter-finals on the back of wins against both Scotland and Portugal.
Commonwealth Games gold medallists South Africa showed signs of the form that brought them success at Glasgow 2014 as they sailed to three wins out of three to top Group B.
An early test against Wales went the way of the South Africans as Seabelo Senatla helped his team to a tightly-contested 19-12 win, before the same man added three tries in a 38-0 demolition of Kenya.
Wales will join the African nation in the quarter-final stages after beating Kenya 24-19 and American Samoa, appearing in their first-ever Gold Coast Sevens, 36-0 with Tom Williams scoring three of their tries.
Action continues here tomorrow as the elimination phase takes to the pitch.
New Zealand and England open up Cup quarter-final play as they battle for a place in the semi-final and all-important Series ranking points.
These points not only determine the overall winner of the World Sevens Series come the end of the nine legs, but will also help determine the qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The top four placed teams in the Series will a spot in the tournament on rugby's return to the Olympic programme after a 92-year absence.
New Zealand versus England is followed by Wales against Fiji, before Argentina take on Samoa and South Africa go toe to toe with Australia.
In the Bowl, France and Canada will open proceedings as they hope to become "best of the rest" after missing the cut for the Cup.
This match will be followed by Scotland versus American Samoa, before the US take on Japan and Kenya take on Portugal.
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