The All Blacks Sevens survived a ferocious test from Argentina to remain undefeated and on course to top their pool in the quest for Olympic redemption.
Five years after failing to medal in the sport's Olympic debut in Rio, New Zealand delivered a start in stark contrast to their last Games appearance where they lost to Japan in pool play.
Given the fickle nature of sevens New Zealand will take nothing for granted but after scoring six tries - four in the second half - to overcome a highly competitive Argentinean side 35-14 and bank their second victory, the Kiwis can be well satisfied with their work on day one.
With Australia to play from their pool on Tuesday, the All Blacks Sevens are well placed to push on as one of the top qualifiers for the quarter-finals.
Argentina, having upset Australia 29-19 in their first match, carried that form through to stun New Zealand early. One missed tackle was all Marcos Moneta needed to blitz away and open the scoring after bumping off Regan Ware on the outside to hand Argentina a 7-0 lead.
New Zealand remained calm, though. After a messy start on attack Ngarohi McGarvey-Black struck back and from a set piece move, Sione Molia stole a 14-7 halftime lead after a dummy, step and spin.
Argentina would not go away, however, drawing level straight after the break with Luciano Gonzalez easily pushing off Molia.
With pressure increasing experienced proved vital for New Zealand as veterans Scott Curry and Joe Webber linked to regain the lead, and Tim Mikkelson coming off the bench to claim a pivotal try that sealed the result, with William Warbrick finishing the job.
In their first match of the day New Zealand recovered from a nervy start to eventually dominate South Korea 50-5. The lopsided score suggests otherwise but Korea gave New Zealand a scare before conceding two yellow cards and falling well off the pace.
New Zealand led 14-5 at halftime – a full-length try-saving tackle from inspirational captain Curry pivotal in retaining that narrow advantage after early defensive frailties were exposed.
With six of their eight tries coming in the second half, New Zealand made the most of their one man advantage to easily pull clear.
The All Blacks Sevens finished fifth in Rio after losing to Japan before being knocked out of medal contention with the 12-7 defeat to eventual gold medallists Fiji in the quarter-final.
Under Scotsman Clark Laidlaw since 2017, New Zealand have rebuilt their team with eight new faces in the original 12-man Olympic squad. Co-captain Curry is one of four returnees from Rio, alongside Mikkelson, Ware and Webber.
New Zealand have enjoyed success under Laidlaw, winning the 2018 Commonwealth Games and World Cup in the same season and finishing on top of the abbreviated 2020 world series before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
After starting this Games campaign with intent, they can now progress with confidence in their quest to challenge for gold.
While defending gold medallists Fiji remain undefeated, they were well short of their best in struggling past Japan 24-19 and Canada 28-14. Great Britain, silver medallists in Rio, made comparatively light work of Canada (24-0) and Japan (34-0).
In the final match in New Zealand's pool on day one, Australia defeated Korea 42-5.