Sevens

NZ chase Sevens hat-trick

2013-01-31 09:20
DJ Forbes (Gallo Images)

Wellington - Competition leaders New Zealand will be seeking a third straight victory on home soil this weekend in the fourth leg of the IRB Sevens World Series in Wellington.

The All Blacks are on a high after snatching a record-breaking fourth consecutive victory in the South African round of the series last month and coach Gordon Tietjens said they would find an extra gear in front of their home fans.

The normally reticent Tietjens, who has guided New Zealand to 10 titles since the Sevens competition began in 1999, was effusive about the blend of raw talent and experience at his disposal in Wellington.

"Mate, if these guys play to their potential and work hard, I'm looking for a big tournament," he told reporters after naming newcomers Rocky Khan and Gillies Kaka in his squad.

New Zealand top the standings on 60 points, ahead of France (46), Fiji (44), South Africa (41) and Samoa (39).

They face a tough first game against England, with Spain and the USA also in their pool.

The New Zealanders are runaway favourites for the Wellington event, but bookmakers, perhaps surprisingly, rank South Africa as next most likely team to emerge victorious this weekend.

The Springboks placed third in the South Africa and Australia legs, with coach Paul Treu saying his charges had to find a way to lift and win crunch games if they wanted to claim the Cup in Wellington.

"Our team has spoken a lot of those small margins for error and if we can manage to keep our focus throughout and keep on creating opportunities, then we will be a threat," he said.

South Africa's pool includes Wales, Canada and Samoa, one of the crowd-favourites in Wellington, which has a large expatriate Pacific island population.

This season's surprise package France, inspired by captain Vincent Deniau, will seek to maintain their momentum in a pool consisting of Argentina, Kenya and Tonga.

Fiji, the last non-local side to win in Wellington in 2010, have a tough pool comprising Australia, Scotland and Portugal.

Pool matches are played on Saturday, with sudden-death games contested on Sunday.

Each side plays its three opponents once with pool winners and runners-up advancing to the Cup quarter-finals on Sunday, when there will also be Plate, Bowl and Shield silverware up for grabs.

Read more on:    all blacks  |  sevens  |  gordon tietjens  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Who is your favourite South African rugby commentator - English or Afrikaans?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.