Rugby: Auckland score record 11th sevens title

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Wayne Pivac. Photo / Kenny Rodger
Wayne Pivac. Photo / Kenny Rodger

Auckland sevens coach Wayne Pivac won't be surprised if his players miss out on national selection despite retaining their national title yesterday.

The favourites had a tournament of two halves after a huge hiccup on day one losing to Manawatu 29-7 before picking themselves up and throwing off the in-form Taranaki, Waikato and Otago 36-24 in the final to lift the trophy for a record 11th time.

"Avoiding Taranaki worked in the pool rounds, but we knew if we were going to win the tournament we would have to play them at some stage."

"We did it the hard way and had to play them in the quarter-final."

The side then came close to giving away their final spot to Waikato as they went into golden point after Tim Mikkelson scored a controversial try on full time.

The Waikato wing appeared to have fumbled the ball forward but was awarded the try to tie the scores 17-all as Joe Webber was unable to convert from out in front.

While Pivac never predicted an easy ride he backed his side all the way.

"We had two tournament warm ups and won them both. We chose not to go to Mt Maunganui. We freshened up and I think it was the right decision not to play at the Mount."

"I think tactically our lead up, our build up was very good."

Pivac said he was more than pleased with his side's efforts but wasn't expecting an Auckland-filled national side.

- Otago Daily Times

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