New Zealand made a safe start to their bid to win the Rugby World Cup Sevens crown, beating Canada 31-12 on a sweltering Moscow afternoon.
On a day when temperatures hits 33C, the All Blacks Sevens ran in five tries at Luzhniki Stadium, with Sherwin Stowers getting a brace.
Kurt Baker, Gillies Kaka and Pita Ahki, a late call-up to the squad to replace the injured Scott Curry, also touched down.
When Stowers got his second just before half-time, he pushed the score out to 19-0.
Canada mounted a come back in the second spell with Harry Jones and Nanyak Dala grabbing tries.
But New Zealand, the world series champions, always maintained a comfortable lead.
Skipper DJ Forbes was glad to get the victory under the belt.
"The match showed the pressure of World Cup footy, but we ticked the box and got the win, that's the main thing," he said.
"That said, we're a little disappointed with the tries we let through, but it's the World Cup and teams are going to take it up a notch."
Coach Sir Gordon Tietjens said the first game was the most difficult and the key against Canada was the good start.
"It's great to get out with a 19-point win," he said.
"We made a few errors at the end which led to a couple of tries, but overall impressive."
New Zealand are seeking to win the four-yearly tournament for the first time since 2001.
In the other Pool D match played, the United States beat Georgia 26-19.
New Zealand face those two teams on day two of the three-day event.
source: newshub archive