All Black Sevens take gold-medal momentum into Singapore

  • 26/04/2018

Fresh from a surprise Commonwealth Games victory, the All Blacks Sevens hope to take that momentum back into the IRB World Series at Singapore this weekend.

Despite four gold medals and a silver in five previous Games appearances, New Zealand's emphatic 14-0 victory over Olympic champions Fiji in the Gold Coast final belied their recent form on the international circuit, where they have failed to make the final of their last five tournaments.

Veteran captain Tim Mikkelson hopes that result will help them improve on their current third-place series standing, behind South Africa and Fiji.

"We're getting straight back on the wagon and we've got a couple of boys getting an opportunity after going pretty well in Hong Kong," he said. "We've got a lot of guys who, I suppose, did the job in the Comm Games.

"We're extremely excited to get back on the horse, and hopefully we can go another step [further] than we have the last couple of years here and hopefully win it."

In fact, the All Blacks Sevens haven't featured in the Singapore final since 2005, when they beat England for the title. Last year, they were upset in the quarter-finals by Canada, who went on to beat United States in the final.

The New Zealand side face Wales, Australia and Scotland in pool play on Saturday (NZ time).

"It's a tough pool to be honest - extremely physical teams that love the breakdown and love to beat up the opposition," said Mikkelson.

"We're going to have to [defend] extremely well and when we get the ball, we have to hold on to it and build phases to score tries."


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