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Rugby | Sevens

Levani Botia © Gallo Images

NZ, Fiji, SA into quarterfinals



World series leader New Zealand lost to rival Fiji at the Port Elizabeth Sevens on Saturday but both qualified for the quarterfinals.

New Zealand, which has lost in both finals so far this season, and Fiji both ended with 2-1 records in Pool B at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium after the Fijians slipped to a surprise 21-19 loss to Scotland.

Host South Africa qualified top of Pool A, beating Samoa, France and Australia. France finished second in their pool while the last round's winner in Dubai, Samoa, missed out.

Wales and Argentina progressed from Pool C and Portugal and the United States went through from Pool D.

New Zealand plays Wales, Fiji faces Argentina, South Africa plays the US, and Portugal goes up against France in Sunday's quarterfinals in round three of the 2012-13 series.

Winner of the last three South African titles, New Zealand slipped up in the final round of pool games having beaten Scotland and England. Ratu Inia Tukere and John Stewart scored second-half tries to carry the Fijians home 24-12 over the New Zealanders.

Fiji rebounded from its earlier shock loss after Scotland's Colin Gregor scored a last-minute try and converted it himself for the biggest upset on the opening day in Port Elizabeth.

Gold Coast winner Fiji won Pool B from New Zealand on points scored. England and Scotland didn't progress.

South Africa won 29-7 over Samoa, 12-5 over France and 17-7 over Australia in Saturday's penultimate game to take a perfect record to the knockout stage.

Wales and Argentina went through despite finishing on the same amount of points as Kenya. Wales' 33-14 defeat of the Kenyans in the final round was decisive in that pool.

Portugal's rugby sevens emergence continued in South Africa as it beat the United States, Zimbabwe and Canada to emerge from a perfect start as Pool D winner and the only other unbeaten team alongside the host. The Portuguese beat South Africa and England in the last round in Dubai and will make the semifinals in Port Elizabeth if they beat France.

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