Rugby Sevens: New Zealand Sevens sides clinch quarter-final spots with early wins at Hong Kong

New Zealand’s Sevens sides have shown impressive early form at the Hong Kong Sevens, with both the men and women securing spots in the quarter-finals.  

The defending champion All Blacks Sevens arrived at the tournament with questions marks hanging over them, sitting sixth on series standings, after failing to progress out of poolplay at their previous outing at Los Angeles last month.

But the NZ men quickly put those doubts to bed with pool victories over Great Britain and competition leaders Argentina. 

Cody Vai in action against Great Britain.
Cody Vai in action against Great Britain. Photo credit: Photosport

Trailling 7-0 at halftime to Great Britain, the Kiwis kept their opponents scoreless after the break, while running in tries to Brady Rush and Tepaea Cook Savage to win 12-7.

Against series leaders Argentina - the only team to so far clinch entry into the Paris Olympics - the All Blacks Sevens were ruthless, leading 7-0 at halftime, despite squandering a couple of other try opportunities, and running in three more in the second half.

Their results put them atop Pool B with a game against unbeaten United States scheduled for Saturday (NZ time).

Argentina have yet to register a win and must now hope to progress as one of the best third-placed teams, if they can beat Great Britain.

Meanwhile, the Black Fern Sevens - who won the inaugural women's tournament at Hong Kong last year - also began their title defence with two wins from two. 

They began with a dominant 24-5 over Great Britain, keeping them scoreless through the opening half while running in four tries of their own, including a double from Micaela Blyde

They followed that performance with a 33-7 victory against Brazil to secure their place in the knockout stages. This time it was Shiray Kaka who dotted down twice during the match.  

Both the New Zealand men and women are scheduled to play their final pool match and quarter-final on Saturday afternoon (NZ time).

All Blacks Sevens 12 (Rush & Cook Savage tries; Cook Savage conversion) Great Britain 7 (McCann try; Emery conversion)

All Blacks Sevens 22 (Fineanganofo, Leo, Ng Shiu & Vaiy tries; Cook Savage 2 conversions) Argentina 0

Black Ferns Sevens 24 (Blyde 2, Woodman-Wickliffe & Waaka tries; King 2 conversions) Great Britain 5 (Thomson try)

Black Ferns Sevens 33 (Kaka 2, Blyde, Pouri-Lane, and Miller tries; King 3 and Pouri-Lane conversions) Brazil 5 (Silva try; Kochhann conversion)