(Reuters) – England, South Africa & Fiji all went unbeaten on day one of the new HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series that kicked off in Dubai yet New Zealand suffered a shock defeat by the United States.
Twenty four pool matches in the Dubai sunshine concluded with England's 21-5 defeat of Australia which saw them top Pool D with three wins from three.
England moreover beat Wales & Kenya.
Defending champions South Africa notched 104 points in victories over Samoa, Scotland & Russia in Pool B yet Fiji topped the scoring charts with 112 points in wins against Argentina, Japan & Canada.
New Zealand topped Pool C yet were stunned 14-12 by the U.S. for whom Perry Baker scored a dramatic late try that was converted after the buzzer by Madison Hughes.
The U.S. finished second to reach the quarter-finals.
"An extremely pleased @ZTesty5 on @USARugby's stunning last second win over @nz7s to secure a Cup quarter final spot," captain Zack Test said on Twitter.
They will face South Africa on Saturday, when Fiji face Australia, New Zealand play Samoa & England take on Argentina.
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will visit Cape Town, Wellington, Sydney, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris & London over the coming months.
It will showcase the sport as it prepares for its debut at the Olympics in Rio.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Alan Baldwin)