LONDON (AP) — World series champion New Zealand was the only team to finish the first day unbeaten in the rugby London Sevens at Twickenham on Saturday.

The Kiwis, who clinched their 11th series in 14 seasons last weekend in the Glasgow Sevens, easily beat Canada and Wales in their pool but found themselves 17-0 down at halftime to Kenya.

They won 31-17, with Kurt Baker and David Raikuna — yellow-carded in the first half — scoring two tries each.

In pursuit of a first London title since 2007, New Zealand will play Argentina in the quarterfinals on Sunday. Also, defending champion Fiji meets Kenya, England tackles South Africa, and Australia plays the United States.

Host England looked the most impressive side early on as it thrashed third-ranked Fiji 27-0 and fourth-ranked Samoa 34-7 in front of a world record sevens crowd of 71,898.

Jeff Williams scored a hat trick in England's biggest win over Fiji in seven years, then Dan Norton bagged a hat trick in England's biggest win ever over Samoa. But it all unravelled in the last game of the day, a 26-17 loss to Argentina.

Crushed 24-0 by Fiji, Argentina rebounded superbly, scoring against England after only 40 seconds when Diego Palma scooped up Joaquin Diaz Bonilla's grubber kick. Palma's second try gave Argentina a 19-5 halftime lead which was too big to overcome.

England still topped the pool on points difference, and Fiji scraped into the last eight with a 33-7 defeat of Samoa.

Australia topped the other pool, beating the United States and France after losing to second-ranked South Africa 5-0.

South Africa, winner of a series-leading three tournaments this season, squeaked past a six-man France, and lost to the U.S. 19-12 for the first time in 26 matches. The Americans always led after Nick Edwards' opening try, and finished the win when substitute Carlin Isles scored with his first touch.

 

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