Kiwi coach confident his team can go one better

Gordon Tietjens is confident his New Zealand team can go one better than their silver-medal showing at the Gold Coast and emerge as the dominant force in the Dubai desert.

By Alex Leach

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Published: Fri 30 Nov 2012, 12:21 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:05 PM

The Kiwis fell agonisingly short at the HSBC Sevens World Series’ first tournament of the season in Oz, losing a one-sided Cup final 32-14 to Pacific islanders Fiji.

But, with an enviable tradition of churning out consistently good performances at every competition throughout the entire year, Tietjens understandably has every faith his men in black can bounce back in typically fine fashion.

New Zealand men’s coach Gordon Tietjens at the press conference of the Dubai Rugby7 on Wednesday.

“First and foremost, we’re going in to win this tournament,” the 56-year-old said with a confidence symptomatic of New Zealand’s record in recent years.

“We did particularly well to finish as the runners-up in Australia with a really young, new side, but I believe I’ve got a far stronger team in this tournament.

“You never promise a win, but we’re certainly hoping to put on a good performance.

“It’s an awesome tournament to win; it’s very early in the World Series and it’s always great to get a good start.

“It’s the second tournament of this year and it’s an important one for us after we were beaten in the final in Australia.

“It’s my favourite tournament. It’s very well run, with outstanding facilities for the players and teams.

“We haven’t won it here for three years and we’d like to take a step forward and do well this weekend.

“We’ve got to gel as a team though and it’s going to be a tougher tournament.”

England have ruled the roost at 7he Sevens ground in 2010 and 2011, yet Tietjens doesn’t necessarily see them as the standout contender to beat and more one of many numerous challengers to the crown overall.

“Everyone forgets that there are eight or nine teams out there that can win this tournament,” he added.” “Fiji have probably got more depth than any other country in the world and they currently lead the World Series. They’ve won the last two tournaments, so they’ll be looking to win three in a row. They’re a very good side.

“Not many teams win in succession in World Series tournaments. It’s been done a few times, but it’s very tough.

“They (Fiji) are my biggest fear. There’s no question about that, but there’s Australia, England, Samoa and South Africa as well.”

alex@khaleejtimes.com



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