SPORTS

Spain upsets New Zealand, ends Kiwis' 37-game winning streak at London Sevens

05/15/2015 10:22 EDT | Updated 05/15/2016 05:59 EDT
LONDON, England - It was a day of highs and lows for New Zealand at the London Sevens as the Kiwis saw their 37-game winning streak snapped Friday but still became the first women's rugby team to quality for the 2016 Olympics.

Canada, meanwhile, got better as the day wore on and won all three of its games to advance to the Cup quarter-finals.

The Canadians, who capped off a good day by thumping host England 31-0, won their pool and will play Russia (1-2-0) next.

The other quarter-final matchups are U.S. (2-1-0) versus France (2-1-0), New Zealand (2-1-0) versus England (2-0-1) and Australia (2-1-0) versus Spain (2-1-0).

World Series-leading New Zealand opened play Friday by blanking Brazil 34-0 before unheralded Spain ended its amazing run with a last-second 19-15 victory. Patricia Garcia scored the decisive try with no time remaining for the Spaniards, who started the day 10th in the Women's World Series.

The Kiwis had won all four previous tournaments this season without dropping a match. New Zealand's last loss on the circuit was February 2014 when it was beaten by Australia in the final of the Sao Paulo Sevens.

New Zealand bounced back by defeating France 24-0, a result that assured it of Olympic qualification. The top four teams at the end of the season, which has one stop remaining in Amsterdam, automatically qualify.

No. 2 Canada had a bumpy start, trailing 12-0 at the half before rallying to beat Russia 14-12 on a try by Bianca Farella. Britt Benn also scored a try with Ghislaine Landry adding two conversions.

The Canadians were in much better form against No. 12 South Africa and were firmly in control from the get-go,

Kayla Moleschi and Mandy Marchak scored two tries apiece and Jen Kish, Elissa Alarie and Magali Harvey added singles in a win over No. 12 South Africa. Landry kicked five conversions.

Karen Paquin scored two tries in the victory over No. 6 England, with singles from Landry, Farella and Ashley Steacy, who scored on a spectacular kick and chase. Landry added three conversions.

The win avenged a 12-5 loss to England in the Cup quarter-finals last month in Langford, B.C.

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