Shrugging off injury concerns and a tough pool, the All Blacks Sevens have gone through day one in London unbeaten and will now face Scotland in tonight's Cup quarter-finals.
Untroubled in dispatching Japan 33-7, a depleted New Zealand, who lost Tim Mikkelson and Regan Ware late in the piece, edged Canada 19-14 thanks to a late Tone Ng Shiu try to set up a showdown with Fiji.
In an all-action affair with their old rivals, New Zealand best Fiji 27-21 to shut them out of the Cup section. Joe Webber, who captained the side against Japan, led the way with a brace, while debutant Jesse Houston scored his third try of the day to seal the result.
"This pool is really challenging, but I'm proud of the boys. They gave it full effort. Hopefully we can go one better in this tournament," says Webber.
The older heads of DJ Forbes, Sam Dickson, Webber and Sherwin Stowers led the way for New Zealand, who were tested on several occasions during the day but stood firm and maintained a low error rate.
Now they face 2016 London Cup champions Scotland in the 10.20pm (NZT) Cup quarter and have a royal show of reaching at least the semifinals or cracking their first Cup final of the season. Canada's 22-19 upset of Fiji to kick off the day's action means that New Zealand can make up ground on the Olympic gold medallists.
The other Cup quarters tonight pit England against series winner South Africa, USA versus Australia, and Argentina face Canada.
New Zealand 33 (Jesse Houston 2, Sherwin Stowers, Sam Dickson, DJ Forbes tries; Joe Webber 3 con, Tamati Samuels con) Japan 7 (Patrick Stehlin try; Katsuyuki Sakai con) HT: 19-0
New Zealand 19 (Sam Dickson, Sherwin Stowers, Tone Ng Shiu tries; Joe Webber 2 con) Canada 14 (Justin Douglas, Nathan Hirayama tries; Hirayama 2 con) HT: 14-14
New Zealand 27 (Joe Webber 2, DJ Forbes, Lewis Ormond, Jesse Houston tries; Webber con) Fiji 21 (Josua Vakurunabili, Jerry Tuwai, Paula Dranisinukula tries; Amenoni Nasilasila 2 con, Waisea Nacuqu con) HT: 14-12 Fiji