New Zealand, the reigning champions in the men’s and women’s events, were dominant on day one of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in South Africa.
The winner-takes-all knockout format leaves no room for error, but the tournament favourites in both events stood up to the pressure well.
The All Black Sevens got their bid for a fourth World Cup victory off to a perfect start as they put Scotland to the sword, running in seven tries in a 43-5 win.
Amanaki Nicole powered over the line twice, either side of a Ngarohi McGarvey-Black score, before Akuila Rokolisoa strode through a hole in midfield to complete a dominant first half performance.
Lee Jones pulled one back after the restart for the Scots with a well-taken finish on the stretch, but Rokolisoa soon restored the All Blacks’ comfortable lead with a weaving run before adding the extras to take his personal points tally to 16.
Substitutes Lewis Ormond and Caleb Tangitau also got in on the try-scoring action late on as the back-to-back defending champions laid down an imposing marker.
The Black Ferns Sevens made a storming start to their campaign in a David v Goliath clash with tournament debutants Colombia, beating the South Americans 47-5 and scoring seven tries in the process.
The first to cross, inevitably, was the RWC Sevens’ all-time top try scorer Portia Woodman, who notched her 19th try at this level inside three minutes.
The Black Ferns stretched their lead to 26-0 by half time, Risi Pouri-Lane crossing twice, but there were huge Colombian celebrations when Laura Mejia dotted down their first-ever World Cup try early in the second half.
They were ultimately outclassed, though, as Kelly Brazier also bagged a brace in a clinical performance from the second seeds.
Cape Town hosting the eighth edition of the tournament – the first to be held in Africa – and a boisterous crowd cheered on the world’s best players at the start of a three-day event that is expected to bring in a record-breaking 150,000 fans.
On day two, the New Zealand men will play Argentina in the Championship quarterfinals on Sunday morning and the Black Ferns Sevens play Ireland.