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New Zealand top pool with narrow win

Published: 10:17PM Saturday May 05, 2012 Source: ONE Sport

  •  (Source: Getty)
    DJ Forbes and Charles Piutau - Source: Getty

A narrow win over Samoa saw New Zealand top Pool B in the Glasgow Sevens, leaving them well placed to progress deep into the tournament.

The 22-21 win over Samoa had been prededed by a 31-5 thumping of Spain and a 66-0 humiliation of France, and New Zealand will now play Argentina in the cup quarter-final on day two.

Samoa took a 14-10 lead into halftime, having converted both their tries, but New Zealand struck back defensively to eke out the win.

Two tries to tournament-leader Wasake Naholo gave New Zealand early impetus, but Samoa stole that momentum away with two tries of their own which were, crucially, converted.

New Zealand retorted well however, keeping Samoa scoreless until the final play of the second half, while adding two more tries to their tally, as Byce Heem amd Salesi Piutau crossed the line.

New Zealand had earlier embarassed France 66-0 - the heaviest loss France had ever suffered - with Naholo scoring a hat-trick of tries, and Tomasi Cama a double.

A victory in Glasgow will go a long way towards securing an eighth Sevens title for New Zealand, particularly if second-placed Fiji cannot make it to the finals.

New Zealand leads the overall Sevens series rankings on 128 points, with Fiji second on 122. The winner of each tournament gets 22 points, and the runners up 19.

Fiji also topped their pool and are slated to play Samoa in the quarter-finals - a team they have historically underperformed against.