England women fly into Sevens quarter finals

Justin Douglas of Canada vies for the ball with Oliver Lindsay Hague of England during their match in the Men's Sevens World Rugby Dubai Series

Justin Douglas of Canada vies for the ball with Oliver Lindsay Hague of England during their match in the Men's Sevens World Rugby Dubai Series

The World Series opener will be played at The Sevens Stadium at the outskirts of Dubai on 30 November and 1 December and will see the Blitzboks defend the Emirates Trophy they won past year, as well as the overall series title.

The likes of the U.S. are always contenders while Argentina‚ Australia‚ France and Canada are factors alongside the big three of NZ‚ SA and Fiji.

In the final, they came up against Canada, who had also made it through the competition unbeaten, but New Zealand dispatched their opponents 26-14.

Australia bounced back from their opening defeat to beat China 33-5 with Dom du Toit scoring a brace and went into their final pool match with US knowing that they were assured of a place in the Cup quarter-finals whatever the outcome.

In Saturday's earlier Challenge Trophy quarter-finals, Samoa smashed Japan 40-12 and Spain surprised Kenya 26-19.

Matt Mullins and Justin Douglas scored tries for Canada, which led England 14-12 at the break but could not hang on.

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Connor Braid scored two tries and Luke McCloskey added a single in a losing cause against Australia.

Captain Sarah Goss scored her 50th try in the win over Kenya, while world player of the year Michaela Blyde scored twice against ireland to take her series tally to 99.

"There were some moments particularly in that last game that were to and fro", said Australian Men's coach Tim Walsh.

The Canadian women finished fourth over all in a disappointing injury-plagued 2017-18 season. Their previous best finish on the circuit was sixth.

John Tait's team will face Ireland in the Cup quarterfinals Friday. Canada was second in 2014-15.

Goss said that winning a clean sweep would be tough, and said the focus is instead on qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, as one of the top four teams in the final standings. The men failed to qualify.

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