IRB Tokyo World Sevens: All Blacks and England safely through
Series leaders New Zealand held off Canada 22-17 to reach the quarter-finals of the IRB Tokyo World Sevens.
Last Updated: 22/03/14 3:02pm
Tokyo defending champions South Africa, two points behind the All Blacks with four rounds remaining and looking to reach their fifth successive final, kept pace with three wins of their own, capped by a commanding 28-12 victory over Argentina.
New Zealand crushed Wales 43-5 thanks to a hat-trick of Tim Mikkelson tries before hammering Portugal 40-7.
But after Canadian captain John Moonlight had crashed over for his third try, Bryce Heem came to New Zealand's rescue, touching down in the corner after the final buzzer for his second try of the match.
New Zealand will face Australia in the last eight after topping Group A.
South Africa coach Neil Powell admitted the "Blitzbokke" will also have to step up a gear when they face surprise package the United States in Sunday's quarter-finals.
"We'll be in trouble if we don't pitch up," Powell said. "They will have nothing to lose. The boys will have to pick up their performance."
Powell refused to look beyond the Eagles, who finished second behind Fiji in Group C after a brave 19-19 draw against the Pacific islanders and a 24-17 upset of Samoa, leaving France bottom and out of the Cup competition for the fourth time this season.
"It's important to get through the next game," added Powell, whose team beat Kenya 26-12 and hosts Japan 33-5. "It's important to focus on the process."
Dubai winners Fiji, third in the standings but 26 points adrift of New Zealand, struggled past France 22-19 in the day's opener but found form by thrashing Samoa 33-7 and will play Kenya in the knockout stages.
England looked arguably the strongest side, demolishing Scotland 36-0 and lowly Spain 29-0 before a dramatic 24-21 win over Australia in Group D set up a meeting with Canada.
Australia captain Ed Jenkins was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on, allowing Phil Burgess to score the go-ahead try on the power-play at the death.