Unbeaten day one for New Zealand sides in Hong Kong

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In their only fixture, the All Blacks Sevens accounted for Kenya 29-5. Leroy Carter continued his impressive form by scoring the first try in the third minute. Tries from Dylan Collier, Akuila Rokolisoa (2), and debutant Cody Vai followed in a routine victory.

The depth of the team will be sorely tested for the rest of the weekend. Andrew Knewstubb, Moses Leo, Payton Spencer, Roderick Solo, Sam Dickson, Scott Curry, Tim Mikkelson, Tone Ng Shiu, Joe Webber, and Regan Ware are all out because of injuries or personal reasons.

Xavier Tito-Harris, Rhodes Featherstone, and Vai are on debut. The All Blacks Sevens have won the Hong Kong Sevens a dozen times but not since 2014. They face South Africa and Ireland in their remaining pool matches.

They are 12 points ahead of Argentina in the overall series standings. Argentina beat Canada 17-7 in their opening encounter. The Pumas face Fiji and Samoa to conclude Pool A tomorrow.

The Black Ferns Sevens are contesting the Hong Kong Sevens for the first time since the inception of the World Series in 2012. They made up for lost time with ruthless victories over hosts Hong Kong 50-0 and Great Britain 43-0.

The home crowd was subdued but respectful watching the Black Ferns cross for eight unanswered tries in a rout. The scorers were: Stacey Waaka (3), Portia Woodman-Wickliffe (2), Kelly Brazier, Sarah Hirini, and Jazmin Felix-Hotham. Risi Pouri-Lane slotted three conversions and Tyla Nathan-Wong added two.

There was no respite for Great Britain whitewashed 43-0. New Zealand scored seven tries, four in the first half and three in the second. Shiray Kaka (2), Risi Pouri-Lane (2), Felix-Hotham, and Waaka crossed the stripe. Nathan-Wong added four conversions.

With 18 conversions this season, Pouri-Lane is a valuable backup to Nathan-Wong who has 71.

Things to be mindful of over the weekend. Australia is the reigning men’s champions. They have won the Hong Kong Sevens six times. Fiji has won the Hong Kong Sevens a record 19 times but hasn’t won a tournament in the World Series this year.

The Black Ferns Sevens have won 26 matches in a row. Australia, the Black Ferns' nearest rivals are 14 points behind the Kiwis in the World Series standings with one event left after Hong Kong in Toulouse in May. The Aussies beat Brazil 43-5 and Ireland 19-12 in their first-day fixtures.

Stacey Waaka has 21 tries in 20 matches in the World Series this year. 

In 2001 an official New Zealand women’s team won the Hong Kong Sevens without conceding a point. From 2002 to 2007 Aotearoa Māori won 33 consecutive matches and six tournaments in a row. The Black Ferns Sevens are gunning for their seventh World Series title. 


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