New Zealand dedicate Hong Kong Sevens victory to Christchurch earthquake victims
New Zealand won the Hong Kong Sevens after defeating England 29-17 in the final at Hong Kong Stadium to maintain their lead at the top of the HSBC World Sevens Series.
Leading by seven points at half-time, New Zealand eased clear in the second period with Frank Halai finishing the game with two tries.
Dan Norton, Greg Barden and Matt Turner all crossed for England.
"I thought the performance we had today was the best we have had all season. Just a lot of heart, some real gutsy defence and it was a game I thought where we might struggle a bit with the pace of their backs. But we defend very well and I am very happy about it," said New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens.
Victory also avenged a painful loss to Samoa in last year's dramatic Hong Kong final and the team dedicated the win to victims of the earthquake in Christchurch last month.
"It was on our minds that we were playing for Christchurch, to do whatever we could do to try to soften the blow of what happened there," said Tietjens.
"My boys certainly delivered that today.
"Sevens rugby is all about family.
"It's about unity and playing for each other.
"And that's what my guys did out there tonight."
England had earlier edged past Russia in the quarter-finals 10-7 thanks to tries from Barden and Turner before going on to beat defending champions Samoa in the last four.
Ben Gollings cancelled out Uale Mai's early try with nothing to choose between them at the break.
The two sides then traded tries before Chris Cracknell's decisive score sealed victory for England.
Biut defeat to the All Blacks was a let-down for Ben Ryan, England's coach, which leaves them England trailing New Zealand at the top of the table.
"I'm disappointed because no one wants to lose a final but on the day New Zealand were better than us," he said.
"They played well and took their chances in crucial moments.
"We have two tournaments left in the UK to come [in London and Edinburgh].
"They've definitely struck a decent blow for their chances to win the World Series but by no means is this a fatal one for us."