The All Black Sevens are safely into tonight's Paris Cup quarter-final against Argentina (9.13pm NZT) after a clean sheet on day two.
But they had to draw on all their famed composure under pressure to edge Kenya 19-17 in their final Pool A game earlier this morning.
Down 12-7 to Kenya at halftime and then 17-7, and with Sonny Bill Williams, who had showed some muscular defence during the day, labouring with a knee knock, New Zealand scored two late tries to Rieko Ioane and Gillies Kaka to take the lead in the final seconds.
Kaka's try, ultimately from a quick tap, showed New Zealand's legendary patience in the clutch as they stretched and then finally broke the Kenyan resistance.
The match had started in the right vein for New Zealand, as Akira Ioane scored a startling 70m solo try, but thereafter possession was problematic, until the final, crucial, three minutes.
Portugal were in the contest for much of the earlier match, but New Zealand eventually pulled away for a comfortable 31-0 victory.
The highlight was a three-minute, second half hat-trick to Lewis Ormond, who continues to impress with his busy play, but the most amusing moment was when Akira Ioane picked up a Portuguese opponent like he was a sack of spuds in some kind of Greco-Roman wrestling hold.
His younger brother's smooth running yielded another try, in the first spell.
Argentina was second in Pool D behind hosts France. The other Cup quarters tonight see South Africa against Samoa, Fiji versus Australia and France face Kenya.
New Zealand 31 (Lewis Ormond 3, Rieko Ioane, Kurt Baker tries; Baker con, Ormond con, Akira Ioane con) Portugal 0 HT: 12-0
New Zealand 19 (Akira Ioane, Rieko Ioane, Gillies Kaka tries; Kurt Baker con, Kaka con) Kenya 17 (Humphrey Kayange, Samuel Oliech, Andrew Amonde tries; Oliech con) HT: 12-7 Kenya