Sevens: New Zealand hoping to break drought at Las Vegas

All Blacks Sevens are safely through to the quarter-finals at the US leg of the IRB world series, still with a game remaining in pool play.

New Zealand have secured their knockout spot with victories over Samoa and Canada on the opening day, and their final qualifying fixture against Spain scheduled for Sunday morning (NZ time).  

Neither Canada nor Spain match the Kiwis' two wins, after battling to a draw earlier in the day, but either could still pip Samoa for the second quarter-final spot, if the Canadians can prevail on day two.

Two converted tries to Regan Ware within 30 seconds helped New Zealand to a perfect start in Las Vegas.

They had to withstand early pressure from Samoa in their tournament opener, but eventually took advantage of a big tailwind to build a 21-0 half-time advantage.

Ware scored their opening two tries, with Sione Molia adding the third before the break. After the restart, Kurt Baker and Molia stretched the final score to 33-0.

In their second outing, New Zealand led just 14-12 at half-time against Canada, but two tries to Tim Mikkelson and another to Jona Nareki put the contest out of reach for the North Americans, with a final 33-19 scoreline.

The All Blacks Sevens will cross over with Pool D, where Fiji and Australia are both unbeaten after day one.

New Zealand entered the tournament atop the IRB world series standings, level with the United States, but having won two events his year. The Americans have finished runners-up four times.

The All Blacks Sevens haven't won the USA Sevens since 2008 and have never tasted success in the Nevada desert. They finished fifth last year, after losing to Fiji in the quarter-finals.


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