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NZ through to Dubai sevens quarter-finals

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/12/2016

Scott Curry on the burst in Dubai. © Francois Nel/Getty Images Scott Curry on the burst in Dubai. England delivered New Zealand a reality check on the first day of the opening men's sevens world series in Dubai with 26-12 pool win.

Having earlier beaten Russia (26-5) and Samoa (26-21), New Zealand nevertheless had done enough to finish second and book a place in Saturday's quarter-finals.

Their opponents are South Africa, who were unbeaten on Friday along with England, Australia and series defending champions Fiji, playing their first major tournament since being crowned Olympic champions.

The New Zealanders trailed 12-0 at halftime against England, who boasted superior pace across the park and crossed through Tom Mitchell (twice), Charlie Hayter and Dan Norton.

Sherwin Stowers scored through a chip and chase just after the break to pull New Zealand back into the contest but their second try, to captain Scott Curry, came near the end when the result was decided.

Their cause wasn't helped by a yellow card in the second half shown to Antonio Kiri Kiri.

The tournament is the first for 23 years featuring a New Zealand team that doesn't have coach Sir Gordon Tietjens in charge.

Tietjens stepped aside after a disappointing fifth placing in Rio, with interim co-coaches Tomasi Cama and Scott Waldrom taking charge for the 10-leg world series.

Former captain DJ Forbes is playing his 80th world series tournament, the most by any player.

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