After piling on a combined 76 points in their opening two wins over Australia and Kenya, the All Blacks Sevens found the going tougher in their final pool match against Fiji.
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With the winner guaranteed top spot in Pool C, there was plenty to play for in the blockbuster clash between the two old rivals late on day two.
Statistically, there hadn’t been much to separate Fiji and the All Blacks Sevens on the 2018/19 Sevens World Series with Fiji accumulating 1030 points to New Zealand’s 1028 prior to their Pool C meeting.
The All Blacks Sevens were first to get their hands on the ball but couldn’t make any headway as the Fijian defence forced an early error close to the line.
And that was to be about all the possession the Clark Laidlaw-coached side received in the first half as Fiji crossed for three tries to take a 19-0 lead at the break.
Scott Curry is back and has a spring in his step ?? #HK7s
The only way back against Fiji was to score first in the second half but the All Blacks Sevens struggled for possession once again as Fiji kept hold of the ball with a succession of trademark offloads.
When Apenisa Cakaubalavu crossed in the 11th minute, it was effectively game over at 24-0 but the New Zealanders had the final say through Joe Ravouvou to make it 24-5 at the final whistle.
The All Blacks Sevens will face France at 4.07pm NZT Sunday for place in the final four. In other quarterfinals, Fiji will take on Argentina, South Africa square off with series leaders USA, and England meet Samoa.
Tune into all the action live on Sky Sport pop up channel 55 from 1.20pm Sunday.
Game one: New Zealand 40 (J Ravouvou 2, R Ware, S Dickson, J Nareki, J Webber tries; A Knewstubb 5 con) Australia 19 (N Malouf, M Longbottom, D Pietsch tries; L Holland 2 con)
Game two: New Zealand 36 (Scott Curry, Joe Ravouvou 2, Regan Ware 2, Joe Webber tries, Andrew Knewstubb 3 con) Kenya 0
Game three: New Zealand 5 (Joe Ravouvou try) Fiji 24 (Filimoni Tuimaba, Filimone Botitu, Apenisa Cakaubalavu tries, Livai Ikanikoda try, 2 con)
Your Cup Quarter-Finals at the #HK7s on Sunday (all times GMT+8)@Blitzboks v @USARugby @fijirugby v @unionargentina @EnglandRugby v @manusamoa @FFRugby v @AllBlacks7s pic.twitter.com/slXLLuvlBz— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) April 6, 2019