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NZ Women make flying start on the Gold Coast

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allblacks.com     13 Apr 2018     Getty Images

It was the first time women’s sevens has ever been played at the Commonwealth Games and the New Zealand side wasted no time making their mark in their opening game against Kenya.

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Led by a brilliant hat-trick from Portia Woodman, New Zealand scorched to a 45-0 win over Kenya to lay the marker for the tournament. Tyla Nathan-Wong was outstanding from the tee with five conversions from six attempts while Kelly Brazier and Michaela Blyde were impressive on attack.

Niall Williams had a high work-rate throughout the match and was well-rewarded with two tries. Her first came when she dotted the ball down before a Kenyan defender who had left the ball to roll over the dead ball line. It was a clear signal that the New Zealand side will not lack for energy and determination across the three day tournament in the Gold Coast heat.

New Zealand were equally impressive in their second match against South Africa in surging to a 41-0 victory.

While their defence was watertight, it was again on attack were the New Zealand side impressed the big crowd at Robina Stadium.

Portia Woodman grabbed a double to take her Commonwealth Games tally to five tries after just two matches.

The New Zealand Sevens now have a shoot-out against Canada on day two to see who tops Pool A. Canada were impressive on day one in taking out South Africa 29-0 and and Kenya 24-12. The crucial clash takes place at 2.49pm NZT on Saturday.

Elsewhere on day one, reigning Olympics champions Australia survived a scare against England. After trailing 12-5, Australia ran out winners 29-12.

Day two will see all 16 men’s teams join the action while the women play out their final pool games.