New Zealand overcome injuries to go unbeaten in group stages in Hong Kong

New Zealand overcome injuries to go unbeaten in group stages in Hong Kong

The All Blacks Sevens overcame the loss of Captain Tim Mikkelson to top Pool A and set up a quarter final appearance tomorrow.

After coming from 17-nil down to beat France 19-17 on day one, New Zealand were dealt a big blow on day two when Mikkelson was ruled out of the tournament through a sprained ankle.

With DJ Forbes taking over the captaincy duties, the team dug deep to grind out a tight 5-0 victory over Kenya. In an arm wrestle of a first half, Kenya used their big ball runners up the middle but couldn’t break the defensive line as the first seven minutes finished nil-all.

Playing in his record-equalling 79th tournament, DJ Forbes scored the opening try after a prolonged period of attack to put New Zealand up 5-0 with two minutes to play. That was to be the only score of the match as Kenya couldn’t get any traction in the dying stages of the match. Taking on a Samoa side fresh off a big win over France, New Zealand were clinical in dispatching Samoa in the final match of the day.

New Zealand flexed their attacking muscle in the first half with a Regan Ware double and Gilles Kaka try to leap out to a 19-0 lead at the break.

Samoa stormed back into the game in the second half with two breakaway tries but a Sonny Bill Williams touch down from close range closed out the game 28-10.

The big worry for Sir Gordon Tietjens will be the injuries to Tim Mikkelson and Sam Dickson. While their experience was greatly missed on day two, Sione Molia, Gilles Kaka and Sonny Bill Williams all stepped up in crucial moments throughout the day 3.