NZ claim sevens title despite defeat

By Cameron McMillan

Sherwin Stowers is tackled by Cornal Hendricks of South Africa. Photo /Getty Images
Sherwin Stowers is tackled by Cornal Hendricks of South Africa. Photo /Getty Images

The New Zealand sevens side have claimed the IRB sevens series title for the 11th time despite losing the final at the Glasgow Sevens overnight.

New Zealand let in three late tries to fall to South Africa 28-21 in the final but their quarterfinal win over Argentina was enough to win the title with one tournament remaining.

It is the side's 11th title in 14 years.

"It means a lot, we set two targets at the beginning of the season, to win the World Series, and the World Cup," said Gordon Tietjens who has coached New Zealand to all 11 titles.

"We've had a lot of new players and I am pleased for them. To win with one round to go too is extra pleasing. A lot of credit goes to the team, they've committed a lot and it's an awesome feeling. We had nine new players in Hong Kong and we are building a depth which is now required on this World Series."

The All Blacks Sevens sit on 151 series points with South Africa in second place on 122. With 22 points up for grabs for winning a tournament it means New Zealand have locked up the series title heading to the final event in London.

New Zealand progressed to the final after a 26-14 win over Wales, setting up a third final against South Africa this year following defeats in USA and Japan.

New Zealand were in line to end that run after heading into halftime with a 14-7 lead following first half tries to Lote Raikabula and Kurt Baker. However South Africa scored three unanswered tries to take win their second Glasgow title in three years.

Meanwhile Ben Lam and Scott Curry have been ruled out of London Sevens after sustaining injuries in Glasgow. Curry broke a bone in his hand while Lam suffered a suspected broken bone in his foot.

Matt Faddes and Warwick Lahmert have both been called into the squad for the final leg in London.

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