Australia thrash Blitzboks but SA top of standings

Nicole Heavierland USA 2018 Ian

Ian Muir

There will be no repeat for Canada at the Sydney Sevens.

Canada, ranked seventh in the world, fell 14-7 to Samoa in the Challenge quarterfinals before earning its first tournament win, a 31-14 victory, over Papua New Guinea to reach the 13th-place game.

Both Australian teams finished the three-day tournament unbeaten and the Australian women became the first team, men's or women's, to complete a World Series tournament without conceding a point.

Shannon Parry opened the scoring when Australia's defense forced a turnover five meters from the New Zealand line.

Aussie womens coach Tim Walsh called for the tournament to a model for all others to follow and grow the womens world series, and Kiwi superstar Portia Woodman backed his calls by saying New Zealand - and others - should copy Sydney.

The men's tournament also began Friday with the first round of matches in pool play.

Of course, New Zealand have been nearly equally as impressive, they've dominated their opponents too, and this promises to be a titanic showdown.

That win saw England secure a ninth place ranking at the Sydney 7s as James Bailey's side continue to build on earlier performances this season.

Charlotte Caslick surprised Russia with a quick tap from a penalty for the first try of the second half and Cassandra Staples ran onto a grubber for a try which snuffed out any chance of a Russian comeback.

South Africa easily disposed of the US 35-7 while Australia downed Cape Town runners-up Argentina 28-0.

The tournament victory was a particularly deserved one for Friend, who entered Sydney Sevens under plenty of pressure to be re-signed and freely admitting his future rested on his young team turning their clear potential into concrete tournament wins.

"We have still got work to do but we will continue to work extremely hard".

Rugby Australia had to move Sydney Sevens to the Australia Day weekend to make it fully integrated and paid a price, with only 55,000 attending - 20,000 down on previous year.

"Finishing on a result like that to the U.S., a team that's beaten us twice over the a year ago or so, shows a lot that our team is coming together", Woodman said.

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