Mumbai: Hosts India posted a Day One round-robin record of three wins, no losses and one draw as they advanced to the Bowl quarterfinals of the HSBC Asian Sevens Rugby Series as the top side from today`s invitational matches here.
India comfortably beat Iran as their results saw them seeded as the top side amongst the invitational teams and the 13th seeds overall in the tournament.
India are trailed by Iran (14th) and Afghanistan (15th) and will play Kazakhstan statistically, the second easiest opponent tomorrow from the main field.
Iran drew with India 14-all in the morning match but then lost in the final round-robin clash 14-7 to finish as the 14th seeds overall, while Afghanistan went winless on day one to finish 15th overall.
Now that the round robin teams have established their rankings from day one, they will contest the Bowl quarterfinals tomorrow against the core teams ? those participating at every leg of the HSBC Asian Sevens Series.
India will play Kazakhstan tomorrow morning at the Bombay Gymkhana in the second Bowl quarterfinal.
Chinese Taipei has a bye in round one, as they would have originally played the 16th team overall. But since Pakistan have failed to attend the tournament for visa reasons, the 16th spot will be marked as a bye with Chinese Taipei advancing directly into tomorrow`s Bowl semifinal.
Meanwhile, Japan used their top players, including try-scoring sensation Lomano Lemeki, sparingly as they eased closer to regaining their Asian sevens crown.
Japan`s Lote Tuqiri and new sevens sensation Lemeki mainly started from the bench as they finished their pool competition unbeaten, doing just enough to defeat Chinese Taipei and the Philippines.
Japan began the day with a 28-5 win over Taipei before knocking out the Philippines 39-7 to stay on course for the third successive title this season.
A victory at the India Sevens will crown Japan as Asian champions with one leg remaining ? next month in Singapore.
The top two teams in Asia will qualify automatically for the Hong Kong Sevens next March and a chance to progress to the HSBC Sevens World Series in 2015.