Rugby Union: Scots fall to hosts

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

WESTERN SAMOA, the holders, and the seven-times winners, Fiji, moved confidently into the quarter-finals of the Hong Kong Sevens yesterday. Scotland went out 15-5 to a Hong Kong team who included the former Tongan international Isi Tu'ivai and two talented New Zealanders.

The playmaker Gregor Townsend rallied the Scots to a 24-14 victory over Argentina in their second group C match but an earlier 26-5 win over Hong Kong saw the South Americans sneak into the last eight, because they scored one more try than Scotland.

Western Samoa, aided by the former All Black Sevens star Junior Paramore's decision to play for his home country, thrashed Sri Lanka 61-0 and saw off the spirited US Eagles 33-10 to book a quarter-final place against the President's Seven.

Five of the England team who won last year's World Cup Sevens are in the President's line-up. Three, Lawrence Dallaglio, Damian Hopley and Nick Beal, scored tries in the 22-7 win over an understrength Ireland that settled group B.

Australia's David Campese, the leading try scorer in international rugby, who has said this will be his last Hong Kong Sevens, scored twice as the Wallabies qualifed for a last eight clash with Argentina. The Australians, looking for their first title since 1988, put a smile on their new coach Glen Ella's face with a 29- 0 win over Taiwan and a 54-0 romp against Japan.

New Zealand took the wraps off an exciting new talent in the powerhouse Jonah Lomu. The 18-year-old scored three tries as the All Blacks stormed past Malaysia 64-0 and tamed a tough Tongan outfit 38-5.

The All Blacks, without a cup win here since 1989, will play a French side of Sevens specialists in the quarter-finals while South Africa take on Fiji. The South African Chester Williams showed his devastating speed as his side hammered Thailand 63-0 and Canada 20-7.

Fiji have discarded most of the ageing side who lost in the final last year, but the fly-half Waisale Serevi is back as captain and was at his devilish best as Fiji crushed Portugal 56-7 and South Korea 33-0.

HONG KONG SEVENS: Group A: Western Samoa 61 Sri Lanka 0; US Eagles 24 Sri Lanka 14; Western Samoa 33 US Eagles 10. Group B: Ireland 40 Singapore 0; President's Seven 45 Singapore 0; President's Seven 22 Ireland 7. Group C: Hong Kong 15 Scotland 5; Argentina 26 Hong Kong 5; Scotland 24 Argentina 14. Group D: Australia 29 Taiwan 0; Japan 17 Taiwan 12; Australia 54 Japan 0. Group E: New Zealand 64 Malaysia 0;: Tonga 45 Malaysia 7; New Zealand 38 Tonga 5. Group F: France 26 Papua New Guinea 5; Papua New Guinea 26 Romania 5; France 40 Romania 5. Group G: South Africa 63 Thailand 0; Canada 35 Thailand 0; South Africa 20 Canada 7. Group H: Fiji 56 Portugal 7; South Korea 26 Portugal 10; Fiji 33 Korea 0. Today's quarter-finals: Western Samoa v President's Seven; Argentina v Australia; New Zealand v France; South Africa v Fiji.

(Photograph omitted)

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