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HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series leaders New Zealand were the only side with a perfect record on day one of the HSBC Sydney Sevens, although Ireland were also unbeaten on a day of upsets.
New Zealand, Ireland and defending champions Australia topped their pools after a day of upsets at the HSBC Sydney Sevens at Spotless Stadium on Saturday.
The Black Ferns Sevens, who have now won 33 consecutive matches on the series since their Cup final loss in Sydney a year ago, were the only side with a perfect record after seeing off the challenge of France, England and invitational side Papua New Guinea to top Pool A.
Their reward is a Cup quarter-final with Canada – the side they beat in the Dubai final in November – after the North Americans suffered defeats to Ireland and Russia and narrowly edged out England for the second-best third-placed team spot in the last eight.
Russia's win earned them a meeting with USA, who bounced back from a surprise loss to Spain in round two to defeat Australia 19-12 in the Pool C decider.
Ireland, as Pool B winners, will take on Spain in the third quarter-final after Las Leonas were one of three teams tied on seven points in Pool C but with a worse points difference than Australia and USA.
The remaining quarter-final pits Pool C winners Australia against France, the Pool A runners-up.
Ireland's impressive run continued at the HSBC Sydney Sevens 2019 on Saturday as they reached their first-ever HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series Cup semi-final following a 22-7 defeat of Spain at Spotless Stadium.
The Irish, who topped a pool for the first time on day one, will now face defending champions Australia in the semi-finals on Sunday after the hosts maintained their perfect record over France on the series with a 21-17 win.
The other Cup semi-final pits series leaders New Zealand, who are bidding for a sixth series title in a row, against Glendale runners-up USA.
New Zealand ran out 17-7 winners over Canada in a scrappy opening quarter-final, before Cheta Emba's last-gasp try saw USA beat Russia 7-5, co-captain Nicole Heavirland's conversion proving the difference in the tight affair.
The top eight teams now take a break until Sunday with the fifth place semi-final between Canada and Russia kicking off proceedings at 08:50 local time (GMT+11), with the first Cup semi-final between the Black Ferns Sevens and USA set for 09:34.
New Zealand have won six tournaments in a row for the second time in HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series history after a Michaela Blyde hat-trick inspired them to a 34-10 defeat of hosts Australia in the HSBC Sydney Sevens 2019 final at Spotless Stadium on Sunday.
Twelve months ago New Zealand had left Sydney licking their wounds after they were whitewashed 31-0 by Australia in the final, a defeat that proved the catalyst for their dominance since which has seen them claim six Cup titles on the series, an historic Commonwealth Games gold medal and complete a successful defence of their Rugby World Cup Sevens crown.
The 14th Cup final between the two most successful teams in women's sevens history was their first meeting of the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series 2019. The outcome, though, would be the same as their last encounter, in the title decider of the HSBC Paris Sevens last year – a New Zealand victory.