New Zealand undefeated at Gold Coast Sevens
October 12, 2013
New Zealand's Joe Webber is tackled by Tonga's Tasi Ma'u in their first round clash on the Gold Coast © Getty Images
Three games played, three wins, no points conceded - day one of New Zealand's world rugby sevens series title defence couldn't have gone any better.
NZ cruised through their pool matches on the Gold Coast on Saturday, defeating the United States 38-0, Tonga 26-0 and Kenya 31-0.
It's an ominous start for the defending world champions as they chase their first Gold Coast Sevens title after losing in the final to Fiji the past two years.
Even without some key names, the Kiwis look the team to beat with Tomasi Cama, Joe Webber and Waisake Naholo all leading the way on Saturday.
Reigning world sevens player of the year Tim Mikkelson knows their first day dominance will mean little if they can't back it up in Sunday's finals.
"We talked about that after the game," Mikkelson told AAP. "It's nice to get three wins but it doesn't count for much now. We start again tomorrow and if we lose we're out. Every game's a final tomorrow."
For a team that has done almost everything at sevens level, including winning 11 of 14 world series since the tournament commenced in 1999, motivation can often be hard to find.
But after falling to their Fijian rivals at the last hurdle on the Gold Coast for two years running, Mikkelson conceded there was a desire to go one better this year.
"We've lost two finals here and it'd be great to win it," Mikkelson said. "Especially with a lot of Kiwi fans here. They come out every year and support us, it'd be great to reward them."
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