There was plenty of action on the field for the first day of the 2015 Touch World Cup at Coffs Harbour.
Australia and New Zealand continued their dominance in the sport with both nations easing into the tournament with big wins. But the rise of the developing nations has generated plenty of interest and optimism.
The men, women and mixed open divisions have moved into the progression rounds – the World Cup group and plate group.
Australia is the top seed in the men’s open after they averaged 21 touchdowns per game on day one. New Zealand will be the second seeds having topped Pool B but Australia’s superior for and against got the host nation to the top of the mountain.
South Africa lead the developing nations as they qualified third.
Pacific Island nations feature predominantly in the World Cup group with Fiji (fourth), Samoa (sixth) and Papua New Guinea (seventh) in the mix. Japan qualified fifth and France is the only European team in the top eight.
The French defeated Wales 3-1 in their final third game to book their spot in the top group.
Last year’s two European Championships finalists England and Wales will take part in the plate group along with Cook Islands, Scotland, USA, Ireland, Singapore and Malaysia.
In the women’s open division, New Zealand will go into the following stage with the number one tag next to their name. The Touch Blacks scored 66 touchdowns on day one. Australia is the second seed with South Africa and England third and fourth respectively. Joining them in the top group will be Singapore (fifth), PNG (sixth) and Japan (seventh).
France just missed out on progressing to the World Cup pool but will be favourites to take out the plate. Joining them in division two will be Wales, Samoa, USA, Fiji, Philippines and Scotland.
Australia and New Zealand advance to the mixed open World Cup group on the top of their game.
There are three divisions in the mixed open. Joining Australia and the Kiwis in the World Cup group will be England, PNG, Scotland, Samoa, Japan and France. In the plate is debutants Philippines, Niue, USA, Singapore, South Africa, Wales and Fiji. In the third group, China, Middle East Touch, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Chile, Italy and Germany will all go head-to-head.
Australia tops the pool in the women’s 27s and sent a huge warning to all their rivals when they defeated New Zealand 8-4 in their clash. France is in the mix as well with Scotland, England and the Kiwis separated by only a few points.
Australia controlled the men’s 30s, winning all their matches on day one. In a highlight for the team, player Gavin Shuker scored his 100th touchdown for his country. He became the first Australian to do so.
USA sit in second spot with Cook Islands third.
Australia and New Zealand are levelled on six points in the men’s 35s. France and Japan are third and fourth respectively followed by Fiji and PNG.
New Zealand and Wales lead the way in the men’s 40s division. Both won their matches, England are third having drawn their match with Japan. Australia sit in fifth spot having only played one match on the first day.
The boys in the green and gold lead the men’s 50s, having scored 38 touchdowns in two matches. Ireland and Italy are second and third, with Japan and Niue bringing up the rear.
In the senior mixed, three teams are on six points - New Zealand, Australia and England – heading into the second day.
Selected Day 2 games can be live streamed here:
Thursday, 30 April
9.00am – England v France (Women’s 27’s Round Three) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaHKOQFCdKI
9.50am – Fiji v USA (Men’s 30’s Round Four) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfnsP3KgVaU
10.40am – Australia v New Zealand (Men’s 35’s Round Three) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exhzWGyYsbE
12.20pm – Australia v England (Men’s 30’s Round Five) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VIpRUmiDtE
2.00pm – Singapore v USA (Men’s 40’s Round Four) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUL0vWBCDy0
3.40pm – Japan v Papua New Guinea (Men’s 30’s Round Five) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0GnY4RKDEw
5.20pm – Wales v England (Men’s 40’s Round Five) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id_ZDhzBiLE
6.10pm – New Zealand v Australia (Men’s 40’s Round Five) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUq0Z-9Ff_A
7.00pm – New Zealand v England (Senior Mixed Round Five) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87kJXfwvvIQ
Keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information from the 2015 Touch World Cup:
This article first appeared on touchworldcup.com