In Pool A the closest contest was between France and England and even that had two tries in it, while the New Zealand side scored with ease to cruise into quarter-finals.

New Zealand’s Ruby Tui pointed to respect for opposition and continued analysis as the key to maintaining their levels, even as it’s now quite lonely at the top.

“We have to respect every team. Like Papua New Guinea, some people might write them off, we are never ever gonna write them off because we know what they’re capable of. They scored an amazing try out there pretty early on. And I think, if you think any game is going to be easy, that’s where you go wrong.”

Tui was surprised by the change in conditions, but as untroubled and happy as the rest of her side.

“We had everyone telling us it was going to be really hot. It’s colder than [at] home. It was actually pretty funny. We don’t mind, as far as we’re concerned we’ve had World Cups and huge pinnacle events in the rain, so you’ve got to be used to anything and everything.”

Pool C saw a three way tie at the top of the ladder after Spain beat the USA, Australia beat Spain and the USA beat Australia.

Evania Pelite had a too prescient view of the contest after Spain's upset win over the USA.

"It’s always hard playing a team that’s just lost, because you know they want to come out and bounce back from that. We can’t underestimate them after that match at all."

And bounce back they did, scoring three tries in the first half and holding off a late surge to win 19-12.

Australian captain Sharni Williams was disappointed with the loss, but pleased the side was able to finish strong with two tries in the second half.