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Nathan shines in Aussie Sevens romps

Australia’s teams have both cruised into the quarter-finals with emphatic opening-day triumphs at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town.

Faith Nathan proved the star of the all-conquering women’s outfit, who are seeking to add another title to their world series and Commonwealth Games triumphs, as she sped over for five tries in their last-16 thrashing of Madagascar on Friday.

The 22-year-old flyer Nathan notched up a first-half double and added a six-minute hat-trick after the break, while there were also tries for Maddison Levi, Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea and Sharni Williams.

Williams, the 34-year-old Rio Olympics champion, also popped over four conversions in a 48-0 win which resembled an efficient training exercise at the start of the three-day knock-out tournament.

It earned the Australians a more testing quarter-final date on Saturday with England, who beat Spain 29-5, while reigning champions New Zealand looked ominously good in a seven-try, 47-5 victory over Colombia.

The Aussie men, fresh from earning their first world series title at Los Angeles a fortnight ago, also eased into their last-eight of their event with a 35-0 stroll against Uruguay.

Like the other big hitters – Fiji, hosts South Africa and New Zealand – they had no problems advancing at Cape Town Stadium, with their five-try display featuring doubles for Maurice Longbottom and Henry Paterson and one from Henry Hutchison.

In the last-eight on Saturday, they’ll next play France, who beat Canada 19-12 in their hard-fought last-16 duel.

New Zealand, who missed parts of the world series because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, blew away Scotland 43-5 to start their pursuit of a third straight World Cup title with seven tries, while Fiji comfortably beat Wales 29-5.

South Africa concluded the opening day by hammering Chile 32-5.

The biggest shock of the day featured the England men’s 17-5 defeat by Ireland, while the US went down 40-12 to Samoa.

Men’s quarter-final line-up

Samoa v Fiji

New Zealand v Argentina

France v Australia

Ireland v South Africa

Women’s quarter-final line-up

Australia v England

Canada v USA

France v Fiji

Ireland v New Zealand

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