Rugby Sevens: All Blacks Sevens begin quest for back-to-back titles with win over Chile in Los Angeles

All Blacks Sevens will have to take the hard road in their quest for back-to-back world series tournament victories, after falling 14-7 to Samoa in poolplay at Los Angeles.

After securing a spot in the quarter-finals with a dominant 36-15 win over hosts USA, the series leaders were unable to overcome their South Pacific rivals, conceding tries to Paul Scanlan and Faafoi Falaniko on either side of halftime.

Brady Rush seemed to have a try in the last minute, but opted to float a pass infield for Leroy Carter to touch down nearer the posts for a crucial conversion. Ngarohi McGarvey-Black slotted the kick, but New Zealand ran out of time to score another and draw level.

They will now face unbeaten Great Britain in the final eight, while Samoa take on Argentina.

Against the Americans, Rush scored within seconds of the opening kickoff and while the Americans drew level with a matcher from David Still, the NZ men piled on three more tries - including a brace by Dylan Collier - to take a 24-5 lead into the break.

Moses Leo put the contest beyond reach for the home side after the restart.

On an uncharacteristically soggy day in California, New Zealand had kicked off their campaign with a straightforward 26-7 win over Chile.

Roderick Solo opened the scoring inside the first minute, followed by a brace of tries for Leroy Carter to put the Kiwis out to a 17-0 lead.

Appearing at their first tournament since 2021, the Chileans showed plenty of mettle to keep the scoreline respectable, adding a classy try of their own on the stroke of halftime, then knuckling down in the second half to stifle their high-profile opponents' attacking flow.

Rush burst clear in the final minute of the contest to ice the cake for New Zealand, who are chasing back-to-back title wins, after their triumph in Sydney last month.

The All Blacks Sevens arrived at Los Angeles with a nine-point lead over South African atop the world series, after contesting three consecutive tournament finals at Cape Town, Hamilton and Sydney.