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NZ, South Africa, Fiji in QFs at Tokyo Sevens

April 4, 2015

TOKYO (AP) — Heavyweights New Zealand, South Africa and Fiji advanced to the quarterfinals at the Tokyo Sevens on Saturday.

Despite a 19-14 defeat in its final group game against Australia, New Zealand still took top spot in Pool B, helped by a 38-0 hammering of Scotland in its opening game.

Sevens world series leader South Africa topped its group with three wins from three. A 26-0 thrashing of Kenya was the pick of its Pool C victories.

Fiji, chasing its first world series win in nine years, secured first place in Pool A by beating England 33-19 at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium in Tokyo.

In Sunday’s quarterfinals, New Zealand faces Canada, South Africa takes on Scotland, Fiji plays host Japan - which is in the knockout rounds of a series for the first time since 2000 - and France is against England.

Fiji beat South Africa in the final of the Tokyo series last year.

The top four teams at the end of the nine-leg world series gain automatic entries to the 2016 Olympics. There are only two tournaments remaining — in Scotland and England in May.

South Africa lead the standings after six rounds, but second-place Fiji came into the Tokyo series with wins in the previous two legs in Hong Kong and Las Vegas.

Third-place New Zealand is the dominant force in the world series, winning 12 of the 15 tournaments, including the last four.

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