Kiwi side to face Wales in Hong Kong quarters
The New Zealand sevens side came from a halftime deficit against the USA to move into the Hong Kong Sevens quarterfinals unbeaten.
Gordon Tietjens' side went three-from-three to top Pool D after overcoming a rapidly-improving USA squad 17-7, setting up a quarterfinal against Wales later today at 5.12pm (NZ time).
New Zealand trailed 7-5 at halftime, before Bryce Heem scored his second of the match and Ben Lam added his second of the day to secure the win.
Wales, runners-up in Pool A behind Fiji, lost 42-7 to Fiji, and defeated Kenya 10-7 and Sri Lanka 47-12 to take their place in the last eight.
New Zealand need a strong performance in Hong Kong, the seventh of nine tournaments on the World Series. They trail South Africa by two points on the championship table with tournaments in Scotland and England to follow in May.
Earlier in the day, Sherwin Stowers, Lam, DJ Forbes and Sam Dickson scored tries as New Zealand snuffed out a brief Samoan revival after halftime to record a comfortable 26-7 win.
New Zealand beat Scotland 33-0 on Friday night, while Samoa were beaten by the United States.
Other quarterfinals, starting from 4.28pm (NZ time), see Fiji face the USA, England and South Africa battle and Australia play Canada.
NEW ZEALAND RESULTS
New Zealand 17 (Bryce Heem 2, Ben Lam tries; Marty McKenzie con) USA 7 (Zack Test try; Madison Hughes con). HT: 5-7
New Zealand 26 (Sherwin Stowers, Sam Dickson, DJ Forbes, Ben Lam tries; Gillies Kaka 3 con) Samoa 7 (Gregory Foe try; Viiga Reupena con). HT: 14-0