All Blacks Sevens thrash Russia

By Campbell Burnes

Regan Ware makes a burst for the All Blacks sevens. Photo / Getty
Regan Ware makes a burst for the All Blacks sevens. Photo / Getty

The All Blacks Sevens were again untroubled as they completed their day one in Las Vegas with a 38-0 blanking of Russia.

New Zealand ran in six tries, which included braces to captain Tim Mikkelson and Kurt Baker, to go 2-0 in Pool A, sounding out a warning to their rivals about their compelling form.

However, they had a scratchy start as Russia ripped into breakdown and slowed their ball. But once the indefatigable Sam Dickson crossed after good lead-up work by Sione Molia, it was all one-way traffic. Mikkelson's double took him to 168 World Series tries.

New Zealand controlled the ball in the second spell and Baker scored from the kickoff before uncorking a 50m solo effort off a Mikkelson assist. Regan Ware rounded out the scoring with a long-range try.

Liam Messam again saw limited game time as a late sub as coach Gordon Tietjens takes a cautious approach to his re-integration into rugby sevens tournament play.

New Zealand's final Pool A game will be tomorrow morning (8.54am NZT) versus Kenya.

Other top teams did not have a straightforward day one, with England only able to draw 19-all with Japan and Fiji upset 28-24 by Pacific rivals Samoa.

Quade Cooper, the former Wallaby and former New Zealand passport-holder, made an inauspicious debut for Australia in their 26-0 Pool B victory over Scotland, struggling to get in synch with his teammates. The mercurial pivot came off the bench for the last five minutes of the clash. His first touch saw him throw a dusty pass which went to ground and he followed that soon afterwards with a no-look forward pass.

New Zealand 38 (Tim Mikkelson 2, Kurt Baker 2, Sam Dickson, Regan Ware tries; Gillies Kaka 3 con, Baker con)
Russia 0
Halftime: 14-0

- NZ Herald

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