RugbyU: New Zealand scrape through in Wellington Sevens

Defending champions New Zealand limped into the knockout stages of the IRB Sevens World Series in Wellington Friday, with coach Gordon Tietjens describing their performance as "terrible".

The All Blacks, chasing their third straight home title in the fourth leg of the IRB Sevens, slumped to 19-14 loss against England and struggled to a 17-10 win over the USA to emerge from the pool stages.

Tietjens was far from impressed after a day's play which saw the unfancied Kenya tear up the form book to score wins over France, Argentina and Tonga.

He said the New Zealanders lacked focus on home soil and would need renewed focus to claim the Wellington title on Saturday.

"It's been tough... we've played terrible today, our players are really disappointed," he said.

New Zealand's lacklustre performance sets up a blockbuster quarter-final on Saturday with Australia, who downed Sevens powerhouse Fiji 21-12 and will be keen defeat their trans-Tasman rivals on home soil.

Kenya, the feel-good story of the Wellington tournament, defeated France (24-12), Argentina (12-0) and Tonga (17-10) to emerge from the pool stages.

They will face South Africa, surprise losers to Canada (26-15) and Samoa (19-10), in the knockout rounds.