New Zealand notched up a convincing win against France in their opening match of the Hong Kong Sevens.
The world series leaders were not affected by the absence of injured World Player of the Year Tomasi Cama as they saw off France 33-12 in Pool B.
Paul Albaladejo put the French on the scoreboard first but New Zealand’s Ben Lam crossed the line soon after, starting off a romp to victory.
Gillies Kaka kicked four of five conversions and scored the game’s last try.
New Zealand is seeking to become the first team to win two tournaments in the current International Rugby Board world sevens series this weekend.
Five different teams have tasted success in the championship, although New Zealand have managed to open up a sizeable lead at the top of the standings with four rounds to play courtesy of their consistency.
Their only title came in Port Elizabeth in December but they have finished runners-up in three others – on Australia’s Gold Coast, Dubai and in Las Vegas last month where they were well beaten in the final by South Africa.
New Zealand’s worst effort came was a quarter-final exit at their home tournament in Wellington.
Victory at the three-day tournament could virtually seal the series for New Zealand. Their 96 points is well clear of nearest rivals South Africa (73), Samoa (71) and defending Hong Kong champions Fiji (66).
Meanwhile, the Australian Sevens team lost their first pool match in Hong Kong, going down 19-14 to Wales.
Australia’s Lewis Holland scored both his side’s tries, with James Stannard kicking both conversions.
Article source: http://wwos.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8631152