All Blacks Sevens side makes it two from two
Gordon Tietjens' New Zealand sevens team breezed through their two pool games on the opening day of the Las Vegas tournament.
The New Zealanders, chasing their first Vegas victory since 2008, brushed aside Australia (31-7) and Scotland (26-5) to go two from two in Pool B on the first day of the fourth tournament of the IRB's world series circuit at Sam Boyd Stadium.
The dangerous Fijians, who the Kiwis will meet in tomorrow's pool closer, were left facing the very real prospect of missing the quarterfinals after being stunned 22-21 by Australia in their second game.
The Fijians, who had earlier thumped the Scots 24-0, looked like they were going to do enough to scrape out a 21-19 victory before Cameron Clark's late penalty sealed the victory for the Aussies.
The New Zalanders will probably eliminate the Fijians with a victory in the pool closer, while a win for the Pacific Islanders would force a countback to decide final placings.
Sam Dickson and Scott Curry scored a brace of tries apiece as Tietjens' defending series champions and current leaders exposed some weak Australian tackling in their opening pool clash.
The victory against the Scots was set up by first-half tries to George Tilsley, Tim Mikkelson and Curtis Ambrose, with Mikkelson completing his brace with the only touchdown of the second spell.
Skipper DJ Forbes said the three-day format in Sin City presented a different set of challenges.
"It's a unique setup in Vegas, and being able to get the job done on opening day is pleasing," he said.
"Now we've got a big game tomorrow against Fiji and a quarterfinal, so it doesn't get any easier."
Defending champions South Africa was the only team to win both its matches in Pool A, crushing Wales 43-0 and then Canada 29-0 to make an emphatic start to the event.
- Fairfax Media