All Blacks Sevens win in SA
Mon, 10 Dec 2012 7:03a.m.
Kurt Baker scored a hat-trick in the final against France as New Zealand romped to a record-breaking fourth successive South African rugby sevens title at Port Elizabeth.
New Zealand's 47-12 win saw them surge clear at the top of the International Rugby Board world series standings and hand long-serving coach Gordon Tietjens an ideal 57th birthday present on Monday (NZT).
Beaten finalists in the first two legs of the nine-tournament series, defending champions New Zealand climb to an imposing 60 points, followed by France (46 points), Fiji (44), South Africa (41) and Samoa (39).
New Zealand's fourth straight South Africa triumph hands them the longest streak by any team in one country's tournament since the world series was launched in 1999.
England had previously won three in a row at the Hong Kong sevens from 2002-04 and New Zealand secured a hat-trick from 2003-05 at Wellington.
The title defence looked shaky on Sunday when New Zealand lost 24-12 to Fiji in pool play.
They bounced back to hammer Wales 35-5 in the quarter-finals - also featuring a Baker hat-trick - before beating South Africa 12-5 in their semi-final.
The final was lop-sided, with a double to Baker and try to Ben Lam pushing New Zealand 21-7 clear of a French side who needed extra time to beat Argentina 10-7 in their semi-final.
Further New Zealand tries were scored by Sam Dickson, Tim Mikkelson, Milford Keresoma and Baker.
The next leg of the series is in Wellington on February 1-2.
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10/12/2012 9:44:05 a.m.
Bah! Sack the coach, Tietjens is past it, so is DJ Forbes, the younger players never stood up to the heat of the finals! - Wait a minute, we won didn't we? By quite a bit didn't we? Er, Forget what I said then, Go the Sevens!
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