New Zealand's dominant men's pair blew away their rivals to qualify quickest from their semifinal.

Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, who set a world-best time in their heat Saturday, battled a strong headwind to clock a time of 6 minutes 48.11 seconds in the first semi - nearly eight seconds faster than second-place Italy.

The British crew of George Nash and William Satch won the other heat in 6:56.46 but any other result than a Kiwi win in the final would be a major shock, with Bond and Murray not having lost in four years as a pair.

In the men's single sculls, Mahe Drysdale won his heat to progress easily to the final while the two-time reigning Olympic champion Olaf Tufte failed to qualify after finishing last in the same race.

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However, it wasn't all good news with the men's quadruple scull failing to progress from their semifinal after a disappointing fourth placing.

The women's quadruple scull team - scuppered in their semifinal after breaking on oar with 500m remaining - won their B final to claim seventh place overall in the Games and provide some solace for their earlier misfortune.

- APNZ