4 Feb 2012

Sport: Tonga headline three Pacific quarter finalists at Wellington 7s

11:17 am on 4 February 2012

Tonga will meet England in the quarter finals of the Wellington Sevens this afternoon after upsetting Fiji to top their pool on day one.

They joined Canada as surprise group winners, alongside New Zealand and South Africa, as Tongan rugby's love affair with Westpac Stadium continued.

Vinnie Wylie reports.

"The unfancied Tongans drew with Wales in their opening match before a shock 17-14 upset of Pacific rivals Fiji. Sateki Tuipolotu's team then beat Argentina 24-14 to guarantee a surprise trip to the cup quarter finals. Fiji recovered to finish second in Pool C and set up a last-eight clash with South Africa, while Samoa will meet Pool D winners Canada, after losing to New Zealand in their final pool match. Cook Islands will meet Argentina in the bowl quarter finals after mixing a win over the United States with losses to sevens giants South Africa and England."

Coach Sateki Tuipolotu says he's very proud of his players.

It's always a major effort when the boys beat the other two nations, either Samoa or Fiji, - they're always above us and we like to compete against them. We don't look too far ahead. We've just got to take it game by game.

Samoa's coach, Stephen Betham says he saw enough from his side to give him confidence going into day two.

We lost to New Zealand but we learnt a lot. It was still anyone's game. We made one crucial mistake which New Zealand countered very well and got seven points and if it wasn't for that mistake it would have been about a 12-7 deficit and it would have been a different pool game but that's how it goes.