New Zealand into quarterfinals at Rugby World Cup Sevens

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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.

Kelly Brazier of New Zealand during the Rugby World Cup Sevens South Africa 2022.

Black Ferns Sevens player Kelly Brazier scored two tries in the team’s opening game of the world cup.
Photo: Photosport

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.

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