As it happened: England, Blitzbokke and All Blacks Sevens come out as Wellington frontrunners after round robin play




Welcome to our live coverage of Day 1 of the Wellington Sevens at the Cake Tin.

We will keep you up to date with all the action from Wellington Regional Stadium.

9:25pm: That wraps up day one in Wellington. The All Blacks Sevens play Fiji tomorrow at 1pm. They have looked brilliant today and definitely worthy of being top of their pool, but England and South Africa are two other in-form sides as well. Big knockouts include USA, Australia and Kenya. We'll be back tomorrow morning from 11am with the first game of the day.

9:20pm: NZL 24-12 USA

TRY! What a statement by NZL! Te Tamaki is in on the right wing and with it, he takes away USA's hopes of making the cup quarter-finals. France go through as number 2 and the All Blacks line up a quarter-final with Fiji!

9:17pm: NZL 19-12 USA

TRY! NZ in again! Mikkelson gets the five points but this is a superb team try off a counter attack. They launch with a penalty at the breakdown after USA don't release the ball and after that it's a series of offloads down the left wing before Mikkelson touches down. One minute to go.

9:16pm: NZL 14-12 USA

TRY! Te Tamaki is in! Brilliant start to the second half by NZ as they don't allow US to score with 6 men and as soon as they have 7 again, they get the ball wide and cut back in under the posts. 

9:10pm: NZL 7-12 USA

TRY! Mikkelson is sent to the bin after a 'questionable performance' by one of the USA players. The ABs 7s star chases his kick and after he can't beat the opposition, goes for a tackle and rolls over the top of him. He yells in agony as a result and lays there wincing in pain. Ref agrees with a yellow card and USA score in the corner off the penalty as the hooter goes. 

9:07pm: NZL 7-7 USA

Koroi goes from scoring a try to saving one. Iosefo looks like he's storming away for his seocnd but Koroi chases him down and forces a knock on. Brilliant!

9:06pm: NZL 7-7 USA

TRY! Welcome to the party Vilimoni Koroi! The youngster scores his first ever Sevens Series try after gassing his marker outside from 30m out. Under the posts he goes and it's tied up.

9:04pm: NZL 0-7 USA

TRY! A costly pass by NZ results in a turnover and USA don't hesitate in responding. Iosefo blitzes down the left sideline and dots down under the posts. Too easy and a simple mistake. Is chemistry going to be an issue for this newlook Kiwi side?

9:02pm: NZL 0-0 USA

A lot of changes to NZ line up with quarter finals already booked. USA kick off.

8:56pm: A rough welcome home for Tietjens as his boys from Samoa fall to three losses on Dya One after a tough game against France. The French scoring on halftime seemed to be the nail in the coffin as they came out and dominated the second half to win 28-5. Now for our final pool game of the night - the All Black Sevens v USA!

8:26pm: And England will take Argentina with them to the cup quarter-finals after another strong win against Kenya. The 31-12 scoreline a fair reflection as Kenya only looked to be part of the game in instances.  

8:00pm: It was looking like one of the biggest upsets may just happen with a 14-14 halftime, but Argentina have stormed through in the second half against Papua New Guinea to win 41-14. Now they wait to see if they've done enough to reach the cup quarter-finals with this next match. A win to England sends them through. A win by Kenya knocks them out.

7:28pm: South Africa walk away top of pool B after a physical 31-12 win over Fiji. Lots of good momoents from both sides but the Blitzbokke just looked the better team on the day. Three more games now until the big one: NZ v USA!

7:04pm: Australia finally claim their first win of the tournament while Japan finally crossed the chalk for the first time in Wellington today as both teams wrapped rather forgetable day one's. Australia came home winners 33-12 with Tate McDermott scoring his first every Sevens Series try in the yellow jersey. Next up is the one everyon'e been keeping an eye for - The Blitzbokke v the Flying Fijians!

6:46pm: And it's Scotland that join Canada in the cup quarter-finals after beating Wales 31-7. Too many missed tackles from the Welsh and some fancy footwork from Scotsman Owen Jenkins leads to the easy win.

6:25pm: Canada have finished pool play undefeated and clinched top of Pool D with an impressive 29-0 win over Russia. That leaves this next match between Scotland and Wales as do-or-die for the remaining spot.

5:25pm: We're on a short break now but the action continues at 6pm when Russia take on Canada!

5:23pm: NZL 21-14 FRA

Fulltime! All Blacks Sevens guarantee themselves a cup berth after beating the French with a game to go against the US this evening.

5:21pm: NZL 21-14 FRA

TRY! Bouhraoua is in for the French and it's game on! 30 seconds to go. NZL have possession.

5:20pm: NZL 21-7 FRA

Time off as a Frenchman is down after a big hit by Forbes. It's clean but he's just fallen awkwardly and it looks like his knee. Two minutes to go.

5:17pm: NZL 21-7 FRA

TRY! SIONE MALIA WITH THE SECOND GEAR! Scrum near halfway and NZ go wide to the left and Molia spies a hole on the outside. He applies the afterburners and runs through France's line without so much as a finger laid on him. Massive moment in the game.

5:12pm: NZL 14-7 FRA

TRY! The French score on the halftime hooter and the All Blacks Sevens will be annoyed they let their defence slip there. Good run down the left sideline sets the platform five metres out and from there, it's just a numbers game as they come back to the right and find a hole under the posts. Game on in second half.

5:09pm: NZL 14-0 FRA

TRY! Stowers is in. Nice setpiece off the scrum five metres out and a stunning offload by Mikkelson creates the overlap. Stowers spies the hole and the All Blacks Sevens extend their lead!

5:08pm: NZL 7-0 FRA

TRY! Rocky Khan streams away and finishes under the posts after a great break from Sherwin Stowers. Khan converts his own try. Early advantage to the hosts!

5:06pm: NZL 0-0 FRA

France make the first break of the game but Sione Molia makes a try-saving tackle and is awarded the penalty when France won't let go of the ball.

5:04pm: NZL 0-0 FRA

The All Blacks Sevens have made no changes to their starting side from the earlier game against Samoa. We're underway. France kicks off.

5:01pm: The United States have kept their quarterfinals alive after a 24-12 win over Samoa. Sloppy patches from both sides but US definitely the better of the two sides - they'll eagerly be watching New Zealand's every move in this next game against France.

4:44pm: Life just got a lot harder for Kenya with England winning 26-7 over Argentina. England have all-but booked themselves a spot in the quarterfinals unless Kenya secure a massive win over them and Argentina thump Papua New Guinea. Stranger things have happend in sport but it's still asking a lot.

4:14pm: Kenya keep their cup hopes alive in Wellington alive with a 47-5 win over Papua New Guinea. William Tirang scores his first ever Sevens try on the world stage for PNG but that's just about where the party stops. England are up against Argentina now and the Kenyans will want the South Americans to claim the win to give them a shot later this evening against England.

3:52pm: With a convincing 28-0 win over Australia, the Blitzbokke punch their tickets alongside Fiji to the Cup quarterfinals. The South Africans play the Pacific powerhouse this afternoon who tooks top placing in Pool B, meaning Australia are out of cup contention.

3:27pm: The Flying Fijians have continued their blistering start to the tournament with a convincing 56-0 thrashing of Japan. Not much to say here. Just too fast, too good on the day. That's two from two for them so far.

3:05pm: The fairytale is cut short as discipline gets the better of Russia in the end and two yellow cards kills their chances. The five men left on the field do a valiant job but Scotland take the win, 12-5.

2:55pm: Russia on the stroke of halftime to tie things up with Scotland and we have a thrilling second half on our hands! It's the first points for Russia this tournament after getting pumped 33-0 by Wales but with the Scots sitting a man down due to a yellow card for the start of the second stanza, Russia may just back themselves here. 5 all after 7 minutes.

2:42pm - And Canada come out firing in the second half with two early tries and eventually waltz away with the victory over Wales, 28-5.

2:31pm - Canada hold a small lead over Wales after one half of play. Just the one try separating them at 7-0! 

A reminder that the All Blacks Sevens still have two more games today! Their times are at 5:05pm against France and what is sure to be a thrilling close to pool play - the USA at 9:02pm tonight!

FULLTIME - New Zealand 33 v Samoa 7

1.56pm - New Zealand 33 v Samoa 7

TRY! Veteran DJ Forbes is over in the corner doing excellent to keep his body in play to score.

1.54pm - New Zealand 28 v Samoa 7

TRY! Samoa get their first try, scoring under the posts after a misread in defence from the home side.

1.52pm - New Zealand 26 v Samoa 0

TRY! Tim Mikkelson scores NZ's fourth try after coming up with the turnover earlier. The offloads are killing the Samoans with Iopu Iopu-Aso linking up with DJ Forbes before the veteran offloaded the pill to Mikkelson.

HALFTIME - New Zealand 21 v Samoa 0

1.47pm - New Zealand 21 v Samoa 0

TRY! Scott Curry is in for his second after some good exchange of passes in the lead up to his double.

1.45pm - New Zealand 14 v Samoa 0

TRY! Great work from the home side, taking advantage with their overlap - Sherwin Stowers crashes over to score.

1.42pm - New Zealand 7 v Samoa 0

TRY! Scott Curry muscles his way over after some good build up work from his teammates.

1.41pm - New Zealand 0 v Samoa 0

And we are underway! 

1.38pm - USA struggle to get of their on half with seconds remaining on the clock and they manage a draw 21-21 against France.

1.35pm - A tense final minute as USA level the scores at 21-21 against France.

1.27pm - France have stunned USA scoring three quick tries before the break to lead 21-7.

1.14pm - England have thumped Papua New Guinea 40-0 after a slow start, they managed to find their rhythm in the second spell.

1.04pm - England go into the break 12-0 up against Papua New Guinea.

12.40pm - Argentina have come away with a 17-12 win over the Kenyans, a well deserved win as they secured a last minute try before the hooter.

Willy Embaka levels the scores with a try in the corner against Argentina as the Kenyans do well to recover the pill off the kick-off - scores 12-12. 

Kenya look out of sorts with the Argentinians leading at halftime 12-0.

The scores remain the same at fulltime with South Africa defeating Japan 33-0.

South Africa's speedster Seabelo Senatla shows off his pace running around the outside of Japan's defence, scoring a wonderful try in the corner.

Japan are now down 33-0 against South Africa.

South Africa are dominating Japan 26-0 at the break.

The flying Fijians have come from behind to beat Australia 26-12 in a thrilling match-up.

A tight contest in this match the Australians hold a slight lead over the Fijians 12-5.

Scotland trail 21-19 after Canada tried to push a pass, but Scotland's George Horne scurries away to score.

Canada lead Scotland 21-5 at the break.

A great start for the Welsh as they dominate the Russians 33-0.

Wales lead 14-0 over Russia at halftime.


Scott Curry.
New Zealand All Blacks Sevens during the first day of the Dubai 7s, 2 December 2016.
HSBC Rugby Sevens World Series.
Copyright photo: SportDXB /

New Zealand Sevens captain Scott Curry.

Source: Photosport

Wellington has been a successful hunting ground for the New Zealand Sevens side in the past, having won nine of the last 14 tournaments here, including the last three in a row.

But the Kiwis have struggled in their opening two tournaments of the series and sit fifth in the overall standings, with South Africa claim the top spot.

There are four new players added in the New Zealand squad Trael Joass (Tasman), Andrew Knewstubb (Tasman), Vilimoni Koroi (Otago) and Tone Ng Shiu (Tasman).

Interim All Blacks Sevens coach Scott Waldrom reminded his players of previous magic moments in the captial including the post-hooter team try finished by Joe Webber to steal last year's final against South Africa 24-21.

"That's a moment a lot of the boys now use as inspiration and use to get themselves up," Waldrom said.

"Maybe we can have another moment like that - hopefully not too close - but another win would be outstanding."

NZ team for Wellington: Scott Curry (captain), Dylan Collier, DJ Forbes, Iopu Iopu-Aso, Rocky Khan, Vilimoni Koroi, Tim Mikkelson, Sione Molia, Tone Ng Shiu, Sherwin Stowers, Isaac Te Tamaki, Regan Ware.

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