NZ Sevens claim Cape Town crown

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AUSTRALIA have failed to qualify for the world rugby sevens series quarterfinals in South Africa after pool losses to the United States and New Zealand in the first day of competition.

Australia fought back early in the second period with tries to Simon Kennewell and Lewis Holland reducing the deficit to 21-12 but that was as close as they got.

Joe Webber finished off the runaway piece to give the All Blacks Sevens the 19-12 semi-final win.

Reflecting on the team's performance, England Sevens head coach Amor praised his side's effort and attitude.

Today's results mean that New Zealand are now two points ahead of South Africa in the overall orld Rugby Sevens Series standings with eight rounds remaining.

They were then edged 14-12 by Argentina to set up a spot in the bronze match.

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The All Blacks Sevens made an encouraging start to the 10-leg circuit last week in Dubai, beaten 24-12 by South Africa in the final.

"You can't win the tournament on day one but you can definitely lose it".

With time up in the firs half Cecil Afrika slithered through a small gap in the Kiwi defence to score and give the Blitzboks a narrow 12-7 halftime lead after Branco du Preez converted.

Fiji received a penalty try in the fifth minute after a high tackle from speedster Seabelo Senatla which led to a yellow card.

It ruined what had been a vibrant atmosphere at the superb Cape Town stadium‚ which saw thousands of fans stream to the exit after the home team's chances of winning were extinguished.

The New Zealanders responded shortly afterwards with a try of their own, but playmaker Cecil Afrika ensured that the hosts didn't stay down for long as he worked his way into the Kiwis' in-goal area as well, before Vilimoni Koroi showed his class to cross the tryline to level the scores at 12-12. Conversions: Koroi, Andrew Knewstubb.