All Blacks Sevens win opening match of World Cup
allblacks.com 29 Jun 2013 Getty Images
The win was a satisfying return to the playing arena for veteran captain DJ Forbes playing in his second World Cup. He missed the last two tournaments of the HSBC Sevens World Series through injury and was only confirmed in the Cup squad days before departure for Russia.
"To be back here in the World Cup is just an awesome feeling. The pressure of World Cup footy, to tick the box and get a win is the main thing, but in saying that we will be disappointed to let two tries through."
The Kiwis ditched a long standing tradition to stay unshaven to finals day with all players freshly shaven on the opening day of the Cup.
"We always said the whole shaving of the beard was business day, but as far as the World Cup goes you have got to win them all, so first day here, clean shaven."
In the other Pool D match, USA held on to beat Georgia 26-19 and the All Blacks Sevens play both teams on Saturday.
Coach Sir Gordon Tietjens was happy with his team’s first up outing.
“It’s great to get out with a 19 point win, we made a few errors at the end which led to a couple of tries, but overall impressive.
"We started well which is a real key against Canada, by starting well and putting some points on, it put them under pressure and that was the winning of the game, our start.
"For us to start well against Canada, the first game is the most difficult and Canada on their day can beat any team, so I was a bit nervous to be fair not knowing what to expect, different surface, different country and the heat of course, but we put it together which was awesome."
Meanwhile the New Zealand Women’s Sevens team finished preparations on another hot Moscow day with temperatures above 30 degrees for the fifth consecutive day. They begin their Pool A game against Tunisia at 9am (5pm NZ time), followed by strong opponents the Netherlands and Canada.
"Everybody is started to get very excited,” said coach Sean Horan. “They are in a good head space at the moment, they have prepared well and we have done everything possible so it’s now just about playing to our strengths and enjoying it.
"We always go into every tournament of the World Series talking about growth and learning and this one is about fronting up. It’s a pinnacle event and you can’t hide from that. We are walking towards it and will give it our best shot.
"It’s now over to them, we have prepared them as much as we can, they are in great spirits, they have great support and they are a good bunch of girls, now they just have to go and deliver."
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