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All Blacks Sevens breeze through day one

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Sportal.co.nz     30 Nov 2013     Getty Images

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Scoring comfortable wins over France, Portugal and Kenya, while notching 16 tries and conceding only one, the defending world champions are gearing up to face Argentina in the quarterfinal.

They are among four teams who made it through to the last eight with a perfect winning record, along with Fiji, South Africa and Wales.

Knowing they haven't won the title since 2009, one of the longer absences on the New Zealand sevens trophy list, captain DJ Forbes said the job is far from complete and was wary of the hiccups New Zealand sides had suffered there in recent years.

"Hopefully we can do the job here, we've started well so hopefully we can keep that going," he said.

While New Zealand have won the last three tournaments, including the Sevens World Cup, the pressure was always on to succeed. But Forbes was philosophical and said with any team capable of being able to upset on a given day, they always had to be wary.

New Zealand have a strong, experienced side in Dubai but Forbes was mindful that onlcyu increased the expectations of the side.

"It's all on the day. You can have a team of stars but a star team will beat anyone so we have got to make sure we put together seven minutes at a time," Forbes said.

Among the players back in the side who were not at the season opener on the Gold Coast, was Gillies Kaka. Forbes described him as 'an X Factor' player who also had a competitive edge to his game.

"As a footballer he's awesome to watch. He's got all the skills, all the talent, and I think the beauty of our team at the moment is the top seven could be anyone and that seven could carry the team right through the tourney so it's pretty exciting and everyone is vying, pushing hard for our spots," he said.

Forbes said he was enjoying the scene this year. He was the closest he had ever been to injury free and he said with the prospect of an Olympics chance he had new drive, new motivation and he hoped to be still in the frame.

"I've still got a lot of rugby in me but against a bunch of boys like these it's going to be pretty hard to hold my spot so I've got to try and do my job week in and week out," he said.

The New Zealand squad in Dubai is: Scott Curry, Tim Mikkelson, Sam Dickson, DJ Forbes, Lote Raikabula, Tomasi Cama, Bryce Heem, Gillies Kaka, Sherwin Stowers, Joe Webber, David Raikuna, Ambrose Curtis.