Fiji will face defending champions New Zealand in a blockbuster quarter final match-up at the Wellington Sevens after a day to forget for the Pacific Islands teams.
The Olympic champions defeated Australia 26-12 and Japan 56-0 but were thrashed 31-12 by World Series leaders South Africa to finish runners-up in Pool B.
Coach Gareth Baber said they put themselves under pressure in the opening minutes of the game when Vatemo Ravouvou was sent to the sin bin.
"Went down to six men after about a minute and a bit and a team like South Africa will look for that opportunity all day," he said.
"I think with the yellow card on our line plus the time that he was off they scored three tries so that was the game really.
"But what was pleasing with it was we did show the character and no end of effort and skill to get ourselves back into it."
Fiji will face the All Blacks Sevens in the Cup quarter finals after the hosts came from behind to beat the United States 24-12 to finish top of Pool C.
Gareth Baber said they still have everything to play for.
"We're still in a Cup competition is the big one. As we said, tournament's aren't won on the first day," he said.
"We're in that position going into tomorrow (Sunday) and there was evidence of the game there (against South Africa) that if we get them right tomorrow we'll be in a good spot.
"We know we'll have tough opposition, especially (with New Zealand) here at home so it's piecing all that together and getting it more right than wrong on times and ensuring we keep numbers on the field."
"Woeful" defence lets Samoa down
Samoa coach Sir Gordon Tietjens says his players "let themselves down" after failing to win a game in Pool C.
The Manu were thumped 33-7 by Tietjens' former team New Zealand before a 24-12 defeat by the United States and 28-5 loss against France.
Sir Gordon said they were made to pay for their ill discipline and "woeful" defence.
"You can't play sevens without the ball and we lacked possession in all those three games really and all of those games (we had) our guys sitting on the seats with yellow cards, so you're defending with six.
"They played some good footy at times but they let themselves down - mainly through the lack of possession and they throw 50/50 passes and not doing the simple things well."
Sir Gordon Tietjens said major improvements are needed, especially on defence.
"Our defence was woeful at times and when you're chasing the game and also you're chasing the players and you're just falling off tackles, and of course when you fall of tackles someone else has got to mop that up for you," he said.
"Unless we get our defence right nothing's going to work on attack and that's our big work on tomorrow. It's about making tackles and also a little bit of pride in what they did today because there wasn't the pride to me, in my own view, I think.
"They're hurting and I am too because they're lovely to coach, they're great to coach but they went out, they gave it their best but they repeatedly infringe when they don't need to and are making the same mistakes, so there's got to be some learnings from that."
PNG take positives
Papua New Guinea were outclassed 40-0 by England, 47-5 against Kenya and 41-14 versus Argentina.
Despite the lopsided scorelines, coach Dougie Guise was encouraged the Pukpuks only trailed by 12 points at halftime against England, 14 against Kenya and were level at 14-all against Argentina in Pool A.
"Just the level, the class of the other teams being on the circuit showed - in all three games they sort of ran away with the games at the back-end of the matches," he said.
"We know that we can match teams when we decide to play. I think just the level of the tournament itself it's a very high, intensive tournament.
"Whereas we haven't played a tournament like this in probably 12-18 months so it's a big ask for the boys who have come into came 10 days ago."
England, South Africa, New Zealand and Canada finished unbeaten on day one to top the four pools, while Argentina, Fiji, France and Scotland also qualified for the Cup quarte finals.
PNG take on Wales in the Challenge quarter finals on day two with Samoa pitted against Australia.