7 Feb 2015

NZ go three for three in pool play

12:35 pm on 7 February 2015

Defending champions New Zealand have won all three pool games on the first day of the Wellington Sevens.

New Zealand's Gillies Kaka (C) is tackled by England's Christian Lewis-Pratt (L) and Warwick Lahmert.

New Zealand's Gillies Kaka (C) is tackled by England's Christian Lewis-Pratt (L) and Warwick Lahmert. Photo: AFP

In the last match of the day, the home team defeated England 24-5 to go to the top of their group.

View a record of the first day's live coverage from the Wellington Sevens

New Zealand will now take on Australia in Saturday's quarter-finals, avoiding a tough match against arch-rivals Fiji, who play England.

The USA were the surprise upset of the day, topping their pool, and they now play Scotland in the Cup quarters.

Kenya will meet series leaders South Africa.

The All Blacks Sevens opened their title defence with a comfortable 26-5 defeat of Canada, scoring five tries to one.

The team thrashed Papua New Guinea 38-7 in their second game, scoring six tries to one.

New Zealands' Sam Dickson makes a break against Canada.

New Zealands' Sam Dickson makes a break against Canada. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Meanwhile, the Fijians dumped Wales out of Cup contention with a 42-19 hiding after their 31-19 demolition of Portugal, who are also out of the running, while the Australians earlier thrashed Wales 36-5 and Portugal 29-0.

England thrashed Papua New Guinea 29-0 then saw off Canada 27-5.

Outsiders France posted a major upset in the Wellington opener, beating favourites South Africa 24-5, scoring four tries to one. A stellar defensive effort repelled the South Africans, the French never trailing as they held the Blitz Bokke off then hit the Commonwealth Games champions on the counter-attack.

Taranaki's Beaudein Waaka crosses for a try in Wellington

Taranaki's Beaudein Waaka crosses for a try in Wellington Photo: Photosport

There were some other big upsets with the giant-killing French given a lesson by the US, going down 38-7, while the Americans romped past Japan 40-5, and Samoa could only draw 21-21 with Argentina.

Scotland beat Samoa 14-12 in their opener while Argentina dominated Kenya to win 31-7. The Kenyans bounced back to edge Scotland 19-14.

The South Africans rebounded to thump Japan 24-7.

Fiji fans backing their team in the capital

Fiji fans backing their team in the capital Photo: Photosport

All Blacks Sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens watches on in Wellington

All Blacks Sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens watches on in Wellington Photo: Photosport

Sevens fans

Locals Graeme Walker and Alexis Trevethan outside the Sevens Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

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