South Africa will head into the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow as top seeds at the end of an enthralling second day of action at the Luzhniki Stadium.
Paul Treu’s side didn’t concede a single point during their Pool B games, and will face Fiji in the quarter-finals after the Islanders finished as second best runners-up.
And, in a replay of their quarter-final in Dubai four years ago, defending champions Wales will play HSBC Sevens World Series champions New Zealand after the Welsh beat Fiji 19-14.
In Pool A it came down to Australia v France to decide who would top the table and after a magnificent fight back by the French to draw 17-17, both sides entered the quarter final stages, with France finishing as the best-placed runners-up.
Kenya were the stars of Pool C and topped the group after they beat Zimbabwe and Samoa on Saturday with some exciting, open Rugby that could pose problems for France when they meet in the quarter-final.
New Zealand had a scare against a feisty USA side but in the end they did enough to top Pool D and get through to the Cup quarter-finals.
Wales versus Fiji was the highlight of Pool E, which saw the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens champions edge the Islanders 19-14 in a thrilling encounter which they had to win. Fiji finished in eighth and will play South Africa on Sunday.
In Pool F, England had a late scare from Argentina in their final Pool match but their defence held firm and they emerged 14-12 winners, booking their place in the Cup quarter-finals, where they’ll play Australia.
Speaking after the final match in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “With just three years to go until Rugby returns to the Olympic Games in Rio, we’ve been reminded again today why the Game deserves to be on sport’s biggest stage.
“Day two of Rugby World Cup Sevens was full of wonderful matches and now the quarter-finalists have been decided. There really are some mouth-watering match-ups, and I predict the final day of this tournament will be magnificent.”
Meanwhile, the nominations for men’s and women’s Player of the Year award have been announced. The winner will be announced on Sunday evening after the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 Final in Moscow.