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Kiwis shuffle the deck, win early at Vegas Sevens

Published: 3:34PM Saturday February 09, 2013 Source: ONE Sport

New Zealand has opened their account at the IRB Las Vegas Sevens with two convincing wins over France and Wales in pool play.

With the loss of captain DJ Forbes, flyer Kurt Baker and playmaker Lote Raikabula from last week's Wellington event, coach Gordon Tietjens has been forced into changes to his line-up.

But the All Blacks Sevens were never under pressure on Day One in the desert, leading 7-0 at halftime against France after a converted try to Belgium Tuatagaloa.

After the break, Tuatagaloa touched down again and David Raikuna put the contest beyond doubt. Tomasi Cama converted all three tries for a 21-0 final outcome.

The Kiwis were even more convincing against reigning world champions Wales, with Ben Lam grabbing three tries in a 40-5 romp.

They now face Argentina in their final pool encounter tomorrow - the South Americans lost 7-17 to Wales, but edged France 14-12.
 
The biggest surprise so far has been the demise of England, winners in Wellington last week. They lost to Fiji 17-26 in their opener and were stunned 21-5 by Portugal, as their hopes of repeating disappeared.

Runners-up last week, Kenya also tumbled in their opener, going down 12-19 to Canada, but kept their chances alive with a late 12-7 win over Uruguay.

Other unbeaten teams through the first day of play were Fiji and South Africa. Another late upset saw Spain topple Australia 24-14 in Pool D.
 

 

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