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NZ Sevens ruthless in Glasgow Sevens victory

BEN STRANG
Last updated 09:30 05/05/2014
Gillies Kaka
Getty
SEVENS STAR: Gillies Kaka.

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Sevens

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New Zealand were at their ruthless best as they destroyed Canada 54-7 in the Glasgow Sevens final this morning.

Scott Curry and Ben Lam scored two tries a piece in the eight tries to one hammering, as New Zealand put one hand on the IRB Sevens World Series trophy with one round to play.

New Zealand would need to be on the wrong end of a miracle to lose their lead in the World Series, requiring only three points in London to win a 12th World Series title.

South Africa sit 19 points adrift of top spot in the series, after a dismal effort in Glasgow where they lost to Scotland and Kenya on finals day.

New Zealand, on the other hand, were unbeaten, and Waikato back Tim Mikkelson said his team will be able to relax a little in London.

''We'll have a couple of days off now and enjoy this result, and then refocus on London,'' he said.

''We've got England in our pool which will be tough. Playing the home team at Twickenham is always going to be hard, but we're feeling pretty confident.''

New Zealand opened the scoring in the final after two minutes when Ben Lam trotted over, with Gillies Kaka nailing the conversion.

Canada were quick to strike back, looking good with ball in hand as Harry Jones crossed the line and Philip Mack kicked the extras.

At 7-7 it all fell apart for the underdog Canadians, as simple errors led the Kiwis to the easiest of tries after turnovers.

Scott Curry benefited on six minutes, getting on the end of a Kaka pass and splitting the defence to score after a Canadian error.

The Manawatu man was in again a minute later, as captain DJ Forbes forced a turnover, and Curry was handed the ball to jog over for another and a 21-7 lead.

As halftime drew near the tie was effectively over when Bryce Heem dotted down for New Zealand's fourth try of the final, and Kaka did his duty by slotting his fourth conversion of the half to make it 28-7 at the break.

Canada were looking out on their feet, possibly paying for a lack of depth in their programme, which saw few of their top line players take a rest all weekend.

Thirty seconds after the restart, New Zealand were in again, Lam grabbing his second of the day, with Kaka missing his first conversion of the game.

Coach Gordon Tietjens brought Crusaders back Adam Whitelock onto the field with six minutes left in the match, and it took him two minutes to grab a try of his own in his first final.

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Akira Ioane and Ambrose Curtis were then introduced, as the extra legs helped punish Canada even more, as Kaka was on the end of some good play to extend the lead further with two minutes remaining.

Ioane then added the eighth try of the match for New Zealand on fulltime, completing the rout.

Earlier in the day New Zealand had beaten Australia 19-7 in the Cup quarterfinal, and Fiji in the semifinals 19-14 to make the Glasgow final.

Main rivals South Africa, meanwhile, suffered a shock loss to Scotland in the quarterfinals, and then fell to Kenya in the Plate semifinals, claiming only 10 competition points in Scotland to fall 19 points behind New Zealand in the World Series race.

The next round is in London next weekend.

- Stuff

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