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So far, so good.
The All Blacks Sevens were once again perfect on day one, winning all three pool matches at the Nelson Mandela Sevens in Port Elizabeth.
Gordon Tietjens’ men ran in a total of 10 tries to climb over Samoa, Japan and England in a replay of last week’s effort in Dubai.
But after being embarrassed by South Africa in the semifinal, captain DJ Forbes knows they still need to find the competitive edge that eluded them so badly in that 28-0 thrashing.
“We were pretty disappointed after last week’s effort,” Forbes said.
“We played some amazing rugby on day one and it didn’t count for much on day two.”
Indeed the All Blacks Sevens will take confidence from today’s results but will need to prove a point after barely scraping past England 5-0 in a torrid encounter laden with penalties.
At 12:05am (NZT) on Monday morning, they’ll face the United States, who won all but one of their games in pool A, including an impressive upset over Wales.
Favoured to win that encounter comfortably, the Kiwis will then likely go on to face South Africa who dominated their previous encounter with physicality at the breakdown and in the tackle.
“We know what we can do when we’re on song. It’s just a matter of doing in seven minutes at a time every game,” said Forbes.
New Zealand: 24 (Joe Webber 2, Sam Dickson, DJ Forbes tries; Gillies Kaka 2 con) Samoa: 7. HT: 19-0
New Zealand: 29 (Kurt Baker, Scott Curry, Ambrose Curtis, Sherwin Stowers, Sam Vaka tries; Baker con, Webber con) Japan: 0. HT: 12-0
New Zealand: 5 (Joe Webber try) England: 0. HT: 0-0