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Fiji hammers Sri Lanka 56-0 in Hong Kong Sevens

March 29, 2014

HONG KONG (AP) — Fiji stayed on course for a hat trick of Cup titles at the Hong Kong Sevens, storming Saturday into the quarterfinals with resounding victories over Kenya and Sri Lanka.

Fiji, which won here last year and in 2012, thrashed minnows Sri Lanka 56-0 in the highest score so far in the seventh leg of the IRB Sevens World Series. They then topped their pool with an emphatic 43-5 victory over Kenya.

Bidding to become the first team this season to win back-to-back titles, the Ben Ryan-coached Fijians will meet the United States in the quarterfinals.

The other quarterfinal in the top half of the draw will match England against South Africa. England survived a scare before edging past Canada 14-12 in the final game to top their pool.

Australia beat current series leader South Africa 10-7 to sweep its group and will play Canada in the quarterfinals. South Africa also advanced to meet England while New Zealand — which beat Samoa 26-7 and the United States 17-7 — face Wales in the last eight.

Asian rivals Japan and Hong Kong appeared on target for a showdown in the qualifying competition to decide which team will gain promotion as a core team in the World Series next season.

Asian sevens champions Japan looked the more convincing as they won their preliminary pool without any fuss before hammering Tunisia 38-7 in the quarterfinals with Lote Tuqiri grabbing a hat trick. Japan will meet Russia in the semifinals of the qualifiers.

Hosts Hong Kong had to survive a torrid time against Chile, winning 10-7, to book their berth in the semifinals where they will meet Italy.

Update hourly