NZ women's Sevens make strong start in Dubai

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 07:56 29/11/2013
Kayla McAlister
Getty Images
IMPRESSIVE START: Kayla McAlister starred with six tries in three games in Dubai last night.

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Kayla McAlister starred with six tries in three games as the New Zealand women's Sevens team made a strong start to the defence of their world series crown in Dubai last night.

New Zealand, who also won the World Cup earlier this year, confirmed their top seeding with three comfortable wins on the opening day.

They conceded just one try in three games, crushing the United States 31-0, Ireland 29-0 and Fiji 33-7.

McAlister's haul included a hat-trick against Fiji while Shakira Baker and Honey Hireme chimed in with three tries each as New Zealand's attack flowed across the three matches.

New Zealand play Brazil in their quarterfinal tonight.

Sevens organisers are delighted with the progress of the South Americans as they get set to host the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Having a competitive Brazilian side is crucial and last night they showed their progress with a 12-7 win over France and a 12-all draw with Canada before they got a reality check against Australia who won 38-10.

New Zealand and Australia were the only two unbeaten teams from pool play.

There were four draws, reflecting the increasing competitiveness of the women's game.

The other quarter-finals feature Spain against Canada, Russia against the United States and Australia against England.

New Zealand won the Dubai tournament last year on their way to claiming the inaugural women's world series. Dubai starts the new season with tournaments to follow in the new year in America, Brazil, China and Holland.

The New Zealand men's team are in action tonight in Dubai with pool matches against France, Portugal and Kenya.

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- Fairfax Media

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