A week after making an unwanted piece of history, the All Blacks Sevens have returned with a strong, undefeated first show at the World Series event in London.
Despite winning two of the three group matches in Toulose, the Kiwi men’s defeat to Australia proved to be a huge blow as they missed the knockout stage for the first time in tournament history.
With that fresh in mind, New Zealand set out to correct those mistakes on Saturday night (NZ time) at Twickenham in their tournament opener against their trans-Tasman rivals.
And in a free-flowing encounter, the Kiwi side took revenge on the Aussies with a 24-19 victory in the tournament opener.
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Leroy Carter constantly had to fend off their opponents, who responded to each of the attempts by Joe Webber, Brady Rush and Caleb Tangitau, crossing over for the winning points with time running out.
Based on that important first result, the All Blacks Sevens made it a memorable day by completing their pool with two convincing wins over France and Canada.
A hat-trick by Ngarohi McGarvey-Black propelled the men in black to a 36-7 win over France, which lost a man in the first half when Paulin Riva was shown a yellow card for throwing the ball away.
New Zealand’s win was sour, however, when Amanaki Nicole was sent off for a dangerously high tackle, as France got themselves on the board on the final round of the game.
Then, with a super start out of the blocks and a 26-0 lead at halftime, then a double from Akuila Rokolisoa in the bottom half, the Kiwis rode to a 40-14 loss to Canada for first place in their pool to obtain.
That makes for a quarter-final (Sunday NZ time 10:20pm) against runner-up Ireland from Toulouse, who took second in their group after a stunning 22-21 win over Argentina, pushing the series leaders through the knockout stages. for the first time this season.
The other quarter-finals see Toulouse winners Fiji against England, Samoa against Spain and South Africa against Australia.