All Blacks Sevens make flying start in London

World Rugby     21 May 2017     World Rugby

Drawn in a tricky pool, the All Blacks Sevens came away with wins over Japan (33-7), Canada (19-14) and Fiji (27-21) to claim top spot in Pool C. After the debuts of Jamie Booth and Fa’asiu Fuatai in Paris last week, New Zealand debuted two more players this weekend in Jesse Houston and Tamati Samuels. The new faces slotted in seamlessly as the Scott Waldrom-coached side ensured they would stay in the hunt for their first tournament crown on the 2016/17 Sevens World Series.

Canterbury’s Jesse Houston starred with a brace of tries to set up New Zealand’s 33-7 victory over Japan in their opening match. While Houston was playing in his first match, it was the vastly experienced trio of DJ Forbes, Sam Dickson and Sherwin Stowers who crossed for the other three tries to complete the rout.

The final two pool matches against Canada and Fiji were always going to decisive in the race to the quarterfinals. Nothing could separate the All Blacks Sevens and Canada with the score locked up 14-14 at halftime. But it was New Zealand who held their nerve in the second half to clinch a 19-14 win.

In their final match of the day, the All Blacks Sevens squared off with Fiji. A victory would secure top spot in Pool C and knock Fiji out of Plate contention. Fiji attacked hard all game but New Zealand weren’t to be denied in their 27-21 victory.
Elsewhere in the tournament, hosts England cruised through Pool D with wins over Australia, Samoa and Spain to set up a quarterfinal with South Africa.

In Pool A, USA showed their class to bounce back from an opening loss to Wales to claim top spot with wins over South Africa and Kenya.

Pool B was the tightest of the lot with Argentina and Scotland progressing through to the quarterfinals ahead of France due to a superior points difference.

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