New Zealand edged past Canada 15-14 on Saturday to top Pool D and book a quarter-final showdown with England at the Vancouver World Rugby Sevens.
The Kiwis finished day one with a perfect 3-0 record thanks to victories over host Canada, Russia and Scotland. The fourth seeds demolished Russia 40-0 in their opening contest then defeated Scotland 33-12.
Sunday’s other quarter-finals will see South Africa against Canada, USA versus Argentina and Fiji against Australia.
Vilimoni Koroi had two tries and Scott Curry scored one for New Zealand in the final group match of the day.
“Day one doesn’t count for much,” said New Zealand’s DJ Forbes. “It’s business tomorrow. If we want to win the Cup, we have to get through the quarter-final.
“A few things we can still work on, so building nicely.”
Captain Harry Jones and Adam Zaruba scored tries, while Nathan Hirayama had two conversions for 12th seeded Canada.
Both teams won their first two games, which allowed them to clinch berths in the quarter-finals.
“To come out and compete with New Zealand with nine fit players, I think it tells a story about how committed we are,” said Canada’s head coach Damian McGrath.
Up next for the hosts is the mighty Blitzboks, who they haven’t beaten since 2013.
The Kiwis will face a more difficult opponent in England, who are the only team other than South Africa to have won a title in the series this season.
South Africa and England drew 12-12 in their Pool A encounter but the Blitzboks took top spot on points difference.
The Canadian event, which saw New Zealand beat South Africa in the final last year, is the sixth of 10 tournaments in the global series, which goes to Hong Kong and Singapore in April and concludes in May at Paris and London.


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