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Rugby | Sevens

© Reuters

Portugal beat SA, Eng to make quarters



Portugal beat South Africa and England for the first time at the rugby Dubai Sevens to reach their first quarterfinals in two seasons on Friday.

South Africa and England lost their last matches in a tough pool with Samoa to miss out on the quarters; England for the second time in as many tournaments, and South Africa after reaching the semifinals in the season-opener on the Gold Coast.

Portugal, meanwhile, advanced to their first quarters since the 2011 Hong Kong Sevens. There they fell to eventual champion New Zealand, which they will meet again on Saturday.

New Zealand, Gold Coast winner Fiji, and Canada were the only unbeaten sides after an upset-filled first day.

Fiji beat Spain 14-0, Scotland 22-14 and Kenya 14-10 to top their pool and set up a quarterfinal with France. The other last-eight matchups are Samoa v Wales, and Canada v Kenya.

New Zealand defeated Wales from behind, outlasted Russia, and eliminated Argentina, who had earlier lost to Wales 14-7.

Canada downed France 20-0, then came from 28-14 down against Australia with two minutes to go to draw 28-28. The Canadians booked their first quarterfinals since February by beating the United States 26-7.

In the other decider, France scored early against Australia and held on for the last 12 minutes to win 7-0.

Portugal began a memorable day by tying with Samoa at 19-19 but with a minute to go lost possession and Lio Lolo scored his third try for Samoa to win 24-19.

Portugal's Aderito Esteves dotted down as the fulltime horn blew to upset South Africa 12-10, then Portugal blew a 19-7 lead against England in a downpour.

England rallied to lead 21-19 but with 30 seconds left, England's Dan Norton was yellow-carded for interference and Pedro Leal kicked over the resulting penalty for 22-19. In injury time, England tapped a penalty but Dan Bibby threw a bad pass inches from the right corner.

Samoa earned the pool's other quarterfinal spot by defeating South Africa 10-5.

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