Kiwi side makes a strong start at Tokyo Sevens

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 00:32 23/03/2014
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Tim Mikkelson runs with the ball against Wales.

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Tim Mikkelson starred as New Zealand made a strong start to the Japan leg of the World Series sevens today.

Mikkleson, the IRB sevens player of the year, scored six tries as New Zealand beat Wales 43-5, Portugal 40-7 and Canada 22-17 to control Pool A in Tokyo.

Mikkleson snared a hat-trick against the Welsh and struck twice against Portugal.

Having won the last tournament at home in Wellington to take a two-point lead over South Africa on the series standings, New Zealand are keen to continue their dominance in Japan.

Coach Gordon Tietjens was thrilled with his team's start in Tokyo, considering they'd been sloppy in Wellington before finding some impressive form.

"It was important we backed up our win in Wellington with a win here. We last our first game there but we gave a good performance here today and shared the work load," Titjens said.

New Zealand were set to complete their pool play with a clash against Canada.

The United States were the upstarts today, beating Samoa 24-17 and then holding powerhouse Fiji to a 19-all draw.

Japan thrilled the home crowd with a 14-all draw with Argentina in their opening game.

England looked to be one of the form sides again with a 36-nil demolition of Scotland followed by a 29-nil win over Spain.

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- Fairfax Media

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