2 Dec 2016

Black Ferns Sevens unbeaten on day one in Dubai

6:30 am on 2 December 2016

The New Zealand women's rugby sevens team has started the opening round of the IRB World Series in Dubai with three wins - but they've come at a cost.

The Black Ferns Sevens beat Ireland 27-5, Fiji 19-10 and France 31-nil.

4 women hug on field

New Zealand women's sevens team celebrate. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

But in the process, Shakira Baker picked a tournament-ending knee injury, while Niall Williams and Tenika Willison both suffered head knocks.

Allan Bunting said while the injuries are disappointing, he's sure the team will take it in their stride heading into the finals.

"Niall Williams got ruled out after the first game with a head knock and Shakira [Baker] has got an [injured] knee so she's out of the rest of the tournament," he said.

"We're just waiting to see what's happening with [Tenika Willision], she's got a bit of a blow to the head too so it might be a big day ahead of us tomorrow, but I think the girls will pull through."

The New Zealand women's Sevens coach Allan Bunting.

The New Zealand women's Sevens coach Allan Bunting. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Bunting said he's been impressed with the team's effort, with the Black Ferns Sevens not having the biggest lead-in to the series.

"We've had minimal preparation for this tournament but I think what the girls have done today, I'm very very proud of what they've shown out there, especially heart-wise, and [we're] looking forward to another big day tomorrow."

In tonight's quarter-finals New Zealand will play South Africa, while in the other match-ups, Olympic champions Australia play France, Fiji play England and Canada play Russia.