SINGAPORE, April 9 – New Zealand got off to a great start on Saturday in their return to the World Rugby Sevens Series after a two-year absence as they topped their round-robin group with wins against Argentina, Scotland and Wales.
New Zealand have won the World Rugby Sevens Series a record 13 times but had not competed on the circuit since March 2020 due to travel issues caused by the pandemic.
They were put to the test by Argentina in their opening game at the HSBC Singapore Ruby Sevens but prevailed 12-10 against the South Americans before beating Scotland (19-7) and the Country of Wales (43-5) to finish atop their group.
The All Blacks Sevens next face Samoa, who are also making their first appearance in this season’s series after pulling out of the Seville tournament in January following a Covid outbreak in their squad.
The Manu Samoa Sevens lost 26-17 to Australia in their opener but beat England 31-5 and Spain 28-14 to finish second in their group.
Australia beat Spain (28-12) and England (40-0) to top their section as they look to improve on their second-place finish in Sevilla.
Meanwhile, Fiji survived a scare – initially beaten 21-12 by Ireland in their opener, they came from behind to edge France 26-19 and demolished Japan in a 62-0 victory.
A last-minute try by American Perry Baker helped the United States stun series leaders South Africa as they topped their pool.
South Africa have won all four tournaments so far this season – topping the table with 88 points – but the Blitzboks face a tough quarter-final against Fiji, who won gold at the Olympics this year. latest.
The quarter-finals will take place at the National Stadium in Singapore on Sunday and will feature New Zealand against Samoa, the United States against Ireland and Australia against Argentina.