12 Feb 2008

New Zealand seven's coach quietly confident

11:09 am on 12 February 2008

The New Zealand seven's coach, Gordon Tiejtens, says he was quietly confident his side would break the record for the most consecutive wins in the IRB rugby sevens world series.

The Kiwis notched up their 36th consecutive win when they beat South Africa 27-12 in the Cup final in San Diego yesterday.

The previous record of 34 consecutive wins was held by the 2001/2002 side also coached by Tiejtens and led by veteran sevens player Eric Rush.

But Tiejtens says they had to beat some of the best teams to break the record.

"I knew it was going to be tough but we played particularly well against Fiji, and hit out a pretty good one against Kenya and the final was a bit stop start we perhaps wanted a bit more fluency, but that's typical finals of rugby sometimes, and you'll expect that and a good South African team as well."

Meanwhile, Fiji coach Josetaki Savou says they'll take their Plate win, and they're already looking ahead.

Fiji edged out Argentina in a nail biting Plate final with Emosi Vucago scoring a sudden death extra time winner after the scores were tied at 21-all after 14 minutes.

Argentina's dogged defence looked to have won them the game in extra time but Vucago touched down from a breakaway to edge Fiji ahead 26-21.

Savou says he's pleased with the win but time to move on.

Unfortunately that we didn't make it in the final of the main competition, but quite happy that we won the Plate and we are looking forward to the next four tournaments.

Josetaki Savou.

On the points standings New Zealand have 80 points 32 ahead of South Africa in second spot while Fiji who slip to third have 44 points, Samoa who were knocked out of the Cup semifinal remain in fourth spot with 38 points

The next tournament is in Hong Kong at the end of March.