Rugby sevens: Fourth placing for NZ in Tokyo

Tim Mikkelson of New Zealand makes a break against Fiji during the Tokyo Sevens semifinals. Photo / Getty Images
Tim Mikkelson of New Zealand makes a break against Fiji during the Tokyo Sevens semifinals. Photo / Getty Images

The All Blacks Sevens have relinquished the lead in the IRB Sevens World Series standings, finishing fourth at the Japan Sevens in Tokyo.

New Zealand lost 17-12 to eventual winners Fiji in the semis before falling 21-12 to England in the third-fourth playoff.

Captain DJ Forbes said they made too many mistakes in their last two outings.

"As soon as we start slipping away from the basics, dropping balls, just doing uncharacteristic things, that's when we put pressure on ourselves and we let other teams get into the games.''

Forbes said they conceded too many penalties in their final game to mount a challenge.

"Probably times when we could avoid those little incidents...We put a lot of pressure on ourselves and in Sevens you haven't really got time to come back from that.''

"Uncharacteristic errors...making a few bad decisions that, I guess, we really paid the price.''

Forbes was especially disappointing not to bounce back in the classification game.

"We really wanted to really bounce back and show a bit of character, and definitely wanted to take some kind positives into the Hong Kong tournament.''

The circuit moves on to the prestigious Hong Kong Sevens this weekend with New Zealand two points behind South Africa at the top of the standings despite South Africa losing 33-26 to Fiji in the final.

The Hong Kong Sevens start on Friday.

- Newstalk ZB

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