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Friday 23 February, 2018
Top Three In Series Finish Day Unbeaten In Japan

Top Three In Series Finish Day Unbeaten In Japan

The new Mikuni World Stadium proved a fitting stage for the world's best women's sevens players to perform on and New Zealand, Australia and Canada rose to the occasion to finish top of their respective pools at the HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens.

Olympic champions Australia will now face France in the first Cup quarter-final on Sunday, before Sydney winners Canada tackle Russia, Fiji take on USA and series leaders New Zealand meet England for a place in the last four.

In the three pool deciders it was the higher ranked team that came out on top, but not without a real battle. Canada once again emerged victorious in the North American rivalry with USA, captain Ghislaine Landry scoring twice – just as she did in their bronze medal victory in Las Vegas last month – to take her tally to 90 series tries.

The sides had been separated by only two points at half-time before Canada broke clear with three unanswered tries to win 29-12 to top Pool C.

Australia then had their Fijian-born flyer Ellia Green to thank for a strong start against familiar opponents in the Pool B decider, scoring twice for a 12-0 half-time lead for the series champions.

Fijiana, so impressive against Ireland and Brazil, couldn't find a way through until the final few minutes when tries by Miriama Naiobasali and captain Ana Maria Roqica had Australia hanging on for a 17-12 win to preserve their perfect record.

New Zealand had suffered a huge scare against France in their second match, but the Dubai and Las Vegas champions regrouped and finished the day with a 22-7 win over Russia to confirm top spot in Pool A, Portia Woodman crossing for two tries to take her total to 138 in series history. Brazil missed out on a first Cup quarter-final appearance of the season on points difference and will instead face Ireland again, having beaten them 27-10 in their final Pool B match, in the Challenge Trophy semi-finals on Sunday.

The other semi-final pits Spain against hosts Japan.


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