Rugby: New Zealand emerge unscathed from opening day of Las Vegas Sevens

By Campbell Burnes

Tim Mikkelson in action against Kenya at the Las Vegas Sevens. Photo / Getty
Tim Mikkelson in action against Kenya at the Las Vegas Sevens. Photo / Getty

There is work to do on their allround performance, but the All Blacks Sevens have started with a 2-0 record after day one of the Las Vegas tournament.

They will play Argentina at 11.36am tomorrow morning (NZT) looking to top Pool C before the Cup quarter-final later in the day.

New Zealand beat Kenya 24-7 in their first game, not without some difficulties, and then edged Russia 19-5 in their second outing.

Beaudein Waaka had some nice touches in the win over Russia, but New Zealand were not quite in synch on attack and only pulled away in the final two minutes after a try to captain DJ Forbes.

"We are still finding our feet. People might not know it is a smaller field. The way we have played in the last two tournaments doesn't really suit this field. We got it right in the second half against Kenya and in parts of the Russia game," says coach Scott Waldrom.

In their opening match, New Zealand had to fight back from a 7-5 halftime deficit to overturn Kenya, who had beaten them 22-0 in the corresponding fixture here last year.

Vilimoni Koroi's guile set up the first try to Sherwin Stowers, before Kenya veteran Collins Injera raced over for his 239th career series try, a world record. With Iopu Iopu-Aso binned for a no-arms tackle, and Kenya tackling hard, New Zealand were struggling to release their attacking flow. But they released it in the second spell, Tim Mikkelson, Dylan Collier and Sione Molia all scoring tries in varying manners.

New Zealand 24 (Sherwin Stowers, Tim Mikkelson, Dylan Collier, Sione Molia tries; Vilimoni Koroi con, Beaudein Waaka con)
Kenya 7 (Collins Injera try; Eden Agero con)
HT: 7-5 Kenya

New Zealand 19 (Beaudein Waaka, Isaac Te Tamaki, DJ Forbes tries; Waaka 2 con)
Russia 5 (Eme Patris Peki try)
HT: 7-5

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 28 May 2017 00:50:44 Processing Time: 441ms