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All Blacks Sevens thrash SVNS Series leaders Argentina in Hong Kong

By Finn Morton
All Blacks Sevens' Cody Vai spoke with RugbyPass after the 22-nil win over Argentina. Picture: RugbyPass.

New Zealand have sent a scarily impressive statement to the rest of the men’s SVNS Series sides by thrashing circuit heavyweights Argentina 22-nil at the Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens on Friday.

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The All Blacks Sevens were a bit slow out of the blocks earlier on the opening day. Great Britain struck first in a tense Pool B clash on Friday morning but late tries to Brady Rush and Tepaea Cook-Savage saw the Kiwis snatch the win.

But as is the nature of the sevens circuit, one victory isn’t always enough to guarantee a spot in the Cup final. New Zealand had a chance to go 2-0 on the opening day but their next opponents were by no means easybeats.

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Argentina stood in New Zealand’s way, but the SVNS Series frontrunners were without World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year nominee Marcos Moneta who has suffered what appeared to be a serious leg injury.

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It was a tense start to the fixture in Hong Kong China with Fehi Fineanganofo scoring the only points of the fixture in just the second minute. The match could’ve gone either way, but it became quickly apparent that this would be New Zealand’s night.

Moses Leo, Tone Ng Shiu and Cody Vai scored second half tries as the men in black ran away with a comprehensive win as the New Zealanders booked their place in the Cup quarter-finals in style.

“That was one of our goals coming in was we had Argentina and our goal was to kick them out early,” All Blacks Sevens star Cody Vai told RugbyPass.

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“We know they’re the best in the world right now… but in our circle we trust each other and that’s how we fight on the field.”

The All Blacks Sevens, who have struggled to find some consistency this season, were dealt some cruel injury blows before the tournament with some big name players ruled out before the event.

World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year nominees Leroy Carter and Akuila Rokolisoa were both ruled out, as was SVNS Series veteran Tim Mikkelson. There were a handful of others on the injury list as well.

But the All Blacks Sevens have found a way.

“It’s just the belief in our team and the good players we have in our team. Not only that but the leaders in our team, they’re the ones who are leading this ship right now,” Vai explained.

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Finn Morton spoke with All Blacks Sevens’ Cody Vai after the 22-nil win over Argentina. Picture: World Rugby.

“We love how no matter who comes into the team, we always play hard and for the black jersey, that’s what we always say.

“I do feel like I’m getting better and better and that’s my goal as a young person coming into the team,” he added when asked about how far he’s come since playing in Hong Kong last year.

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“(I) always want to improve my game and help out the older boys and the younger boys as well.”

The All Blacks Sevens will take on Perry Baker’s United States – the same side that knocked them out of Cup quarter-final contention last time out in Los Angeles – on day two in Hong Kong.

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