NZ women's Sevens make strong start in Dubai

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 08:22 29/11/2013
NZ women's sevens
GETTY
MPRESSIVE START: Kayla McAlister starred with six tries in three games in Dubai.

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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 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 Waikato's Honey Hireme chimed in with three tries each as New Zealand's attack flowed across the three matches.

New Zealand play Brazil in their quarter-final tonight.

Sevens organisers are delighted with the progress of the South Americans as they get set to host the Olympics in Rio in 2016. Having a competitive Brazil 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 competiveness 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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- Waikato

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