Rugby Sevens competition at the Commonwealth Games heads into the second day with favourites New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Samoa all punching their spots into the knockout stages. But the tournament is far from over. The real battle is just about to begin in Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland.
New Zealand's quest for a fifth straight Commonwealth Games is still alive, and they advanced to the next stage with mixed results, dispatching New Zealand (39-0), Scotland (17-14), and Barbados (59-0) to top Pool A.
However, the Kiwi found out a hard reality that they are not invincible. The Scots took them to the limit before eking out the key play to preserve the victory. Yet, gold medal contenders South Africa and Australia realized that they really have a shot at the crown this time around.
South Africa was relentless in the group stages, as they never conceded a point in three matches. They blew away Cook Island 50-0, Trinidad and Tobago 36-0, and Kenya 20-0 to take the no.1 spot in Pool B.
Meanwhile, the Aussies managed to secure easing wins against Sri Lanka 62-7 and Uganda 43-5 before grinding out a 15-7 win over England in a penalties-filled Pool D finale.
"With all the attack, we had the momentum on their tryline," Ed Jenkins told the Australian on Saturday. "They kept giving stupid penalties away, so I guess at this level any ref is going to send them off. It probably helped us in the end but if they are going to give those penalties away, we'll take them."
As for Samoa, they obliterated Malaysia 54-0 and Papua New Guinea 33-14 before a tough 19-12 win against Wales to lord on top of Pool C.
Kenya, Wales, Scotland and England also qualified to the quarterfinal stages, and these teams are expected to give their best shots against the proverbial favourites of this tournament. England, which came close to beating rival Australia, is pressed to pull off an upset, but they have to pick up the pieces together to become a force to be reckoned with.
Prediction for Rugby Sevens Finale
New Zealand will have an easy time in the quarters against Kenya, but the road to the finals becomes tighter when they reach the semis against Australia. On the other hand, South Africa will be tested right away against home team Scotland and face either Somoa and England in the semis.
It's going to be close but New Zealand will retain their title in a gritty matchup with the South Africans in the championship game. After learning a valuable lesson against Scotland, the Kiwis will be prepared in all kinds of wars in the knockout stages.
Schedule, Results & Live Stream Information
Rugby Sevens schedule and results are available on Glasgow 2014 official sites, while viewers can watch live streaming of the games on Youtube.
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