James Mortimer 13.Oct.2012Getty Images
With a final pool match against the South African 'BlitzBokke' later this evening (22:24 NZT), their toughest pool opponent, the All Blacks Sevens title defence has begun in challenging circumstances.
DJ Forbes and his troops overcame the United States 19-7, and looked to have ran themselves into form racing up a quick 21-0 lead against the Sevens Canucks.
Canada was beaten 38-0 by South Africa in one of the few one-sided clashes of Day One at the Gold Coast, but they managed to get on the scoreboard before halftime to make it 21-7.
Ciaran Hearn crossed at the start of the second-half, which had the crowd erupt in support behind Canada, but Tomasi Cama became saviour as he scored to re-establish the All Blacks Sevens lead.
Canada's John Moonlight scored in the corner at the death to ensure the North Americans finished on a high.
New Zealand were not the only heavyweight to be pushed hard, with Spain giving England another shock after the Red Rose drew with Kenya earlier, with the new foundation team losing 13-10 to an English side consisting of full-time Sevens players.
Hosts Australia defeated Scotland 22-0, while Fiji looks at this stage to be perhaps the form side, easily accounting for Tonga 35-7.