The New Zealand Sevens team edged further ahead of arch rivals Fiji in the overall standings after finishing third at the Japan Sevens.

Gordon Tietjens' side has rallied from 17-nil down to beat England 24-17 in the third place playoff, after earlier losing 17-12 in extra time to Samoa in the semis.

Australia won the tournament, defeating Samoa 28-26 in the decider.

Tietjens says the England win is vital for their title hopes.

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"Every win after losing that semi is a few more points on Fiji because they got beaten in the quarters so for us it's important," he says.

"It's going to be really tough over these next two tournaments and we've got to get up for them

New Zealand lead Fiji by six points with tournaments in Scotland and England to round off the series next month.