The All Blacks, the pre-tournament favourites to take the Gold Medal, scored five tries on the way to a 35-10 victory over Wales. Dai Rees's men got off to the worst possible start conceding a try in the first minute with Soseni Anesi diving over under posts after a loose Welsh pass. Wales struggled to get out of their own 22 in a poor first half with New Zealand continuing to assert pressure.
Minutes later it was 14-0 with captain Tafai Ioasa powering through to compound the Welsh misery. Wales came out for the second half a different side and scored two tries almost instantly to get themselves back into the game. Penzance scrum-half Rhodri Mcatee scored the first, diving over the corner for a try which Neath's James Hook failed to convert and Cardiff Blues Captain Rhys Williams made it 14-10 scoring Wales's second converted try of the morning.
Those were Wales last points of the game though with New Zealand moving up a couple of gears to secure victory. Converted tries from Cory Jane (2) and Justin Messam, made it 35-10 to the All Blacks and to compound Wales misery they were reduced to six men after Jonathan Edwards was yellow carded for throwing a punch.
Edwards said: "We put ourselves under a lot of pressure early on and we just couldn't get the ball out of our defence. We didn't have enough urgency early on but towards the end of the game we showed more good will with two well worked tries."
Kenya followed for Wales, who putting the New Zealand opener behind them stepped up their performance to record a comprehensive 33-0 victory. The Welsh scored three first half tries through Wayne Evans, Richie Pugh, James Merriman and two second half efforts from Tal Selley and Jonathan Edwards, with James Hook sending over four conversions.
Fiji set the standard in the opening day of sevens at the Telstra Dome but Rees is bullish about his side's chances.
He said: "Fiji set the standard this morning and look to be the team to beat. But if we can turn in a similar performance to the one we had against Kenya then we will be competitive.
"It is a big ask but the players are improving all the time and with experience we are getting better. There are some young players in this squad and they are relishing playing in this sort of environment."
Wales's final game saw them play their best rugby of the day, recording a comprehensive 40-7 victory over Namibia. Tries from Rhodri Mcatee, James Hook, Richie Pugh, Jonny Vaughton, Jonathan Edwards and Tal Selley as well as five Hook conversion helped Wales on their way to victory.
Namibia's try came from Ronaldo Pedro late in the second half with Dirk Lintvelt adding the extras. Wales Captain Richie Pugh was delighted with his side's efforts on Matchday One.
"New Zealand was a disappointing match and the All Blacks showed their class but we picked it up against Kenya, and Namibia was a great way to finish," said Pugh. "We know what Fiji are all about, they are a great side but we are confident we can cause an upset against them."
The other quarter-finalists look set to be New Zealand, Fiji, Canada, England, Australia, Samoa and Tonga.