Preview: Kiwis eye a perfect dozen

Thu, 08 May 2014 15:13
Large dj forbes nz 7s

New Zealand are just four points away from their 12th IRB Sevens World Series crown.

New Zealand are just four points away from their 12th IRB Sevens World Series crown.

However, they are determined to finish off in style at the London leg, the ninth and final of the series, at the weekend.

The Kiwis are currently 19 points ahead of second-place South Africa in the Series standings and can only be overtaken if they completely bomb out - a scenario that is highly unlikely, given their impressive recent form.

Three points - by winning the lowest tier Shield competition - will already ensure the BlitzBokke can't overtake New Zealand. In that case, New Zealand's superior points difference will hand them the title.

Anything better, such as playing in the third-tier Bowl semifinals and gaining five points, would further cement their status as the world's premier Sevens outfit.

New Zealand captain DJ Forbes said his team would like to seal the title by winning the London tournament.

"You would like to think we have pretty much done the job," Forbes said of their 19-point lead, but added that they still have to go out there and get the additional points required.

They are drawn with hosts England in a pool, but that is not a challenge that frightens the in-form Kiwis.

"It is a tough way to do it, but we'll have to do it," Forbes said, adding: "We just have to keep ticking boxes."

England, of course, have some motivation of their own.

"As an England player, playing in front of a sell-out crowd at Twickenham is a huge occasion and having added experience in the squad will certainly be a benefit," said head coach Simon Amor.

Meanwhile South Africa are also determined to end their season on a high, after flopping at the quarterfinal stage in the last two tournament - having held the series lead before the Hong Kong leg in March.

Injured Springbok captain Kyle Brown joined BlitzBok coach Neil Powell in encouraging the team to finish the World Series on a high note.

The South Africans will be looking to consolidate second spot on the World Series standings, with Fiji just 10 points behind in third place.

The BlitzBokke have reached five Cup finals this season and emerged victorious in the Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas tournaments.

Last week in Glasgow the team lost in the Plate semifinal and will be determined to deliver a much-improved performance at Twickenham.

Coach Neil Powell said the team is determined to play much better in London.

"Every player is determined and motivated to lift his game to the standards which saw us reach all those Cup finals and secure tournament victories in Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas," explained Powell.

"The guys want to show their pride for the jersey and play better for themselves, the team and their supporters."

London pools:
Pool A: New Zealand, England, Argentina, Wales
Pool B: Canada, Kenya, Samoa, United States
Pool C: Fiji, Australia, Spain, Japan
Pool D: Scotland, South Africa, France, Portugal

Day One schedule - Saturday, May 10:
(Kick-off is local time - GMT plus one hour)
Match 1: Canada v Samoa, 09.00
Match 2: Kenya v United States, 09.22
Match 3: Fiji v Spain, 09.44
Match 4: Australia v Japan, 10.06
Match 5: Scotland v France, 10.28
Match 6: South Africa v Portugal, 10.50
Match 7: New Zealand v Argentina, 11.12
Match 8: England v Wales, 11.34
Match 9: Canada v United States, 12.06
Match 10: Kenya v Samoa, 12.28
Match 11: Fiji v Japan, 12.50
Match 12: Australia v Spain, 13.12
Match 13: Scotland v Portugal, 13.34
Match 14: South Africa v France, 13.56
Match 15: New Zealand v Wales, 14.18
Match 16: England v Argentina, 14.40
Match 17: Samoa v United States, 15.32
Match 18: Canada v Kenya, 15.54
Match 19: Spain v Japan, 16.16
Match 20: Fiji v Australia, 16.38
Match 21: France v Portugal, 17.00
Match 22: Scotland v South Africa, 17:22
Match 23: Argentina v Wales, 17.44
Match 24: New Zealand v England, 18.06

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 04 March 2017
Hurricanes v Rebels 04h15 Wellington
Highlanders v Crusaders 06h45 Dunedin
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Waratahs v Force 19 | 13
Crusaders v Brumbies 17 | 13
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 17 | 83
Fri, 24 February 2017
Munster v Scarlets 21 | 30
Dragons v Leinster 22 | 54
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 17 | 18
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 18 | 27
Reds v Sharks 28 | 26
Highlanders v Chiefs 15 | 24
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
SEVENS
MORE LOGS
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
Team P W D L Pts
Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Japan Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens