A week after claiming victory at the HSBC Dubai Sevens, the All Blacks Sevens have finished in fourth place in Cape Town.
Ravaged by injuries over the past two weeks, Coach Clark Laidlaw said while the fourth place finish is disappointing there is also a lot to take out of the weekend.
“We are proud of what this team has done. We have 11 or 12 players unavailable at home but this group has done well, to come from behind against South Africa in pool play in front of a 50,000-strong crowd was a huge occasion and we played really well against Australia but USA got on top of us,” said Laidlaw.
The All Blacks Sevens started strongly against Zimbabwe on Day One before Samoa clinched victory in the last play of the game to set up a crucial pool match against South Africa, where victory was needed to advance to the Cup play offs.
A thrilling closing minute saw Sione Molia score with only seconds left on the clock to draw the scores level, followed by Vilimoni Koroi dotting down in the corner in added time to steal the 26-21 victory.
Amanaki Nicole starred in the 26-17 quarter final win over Australia with a hat trick before the All Blacks Sevens were undone 31-12 by a strong USA in the semi finals.
A tense Bronze Final against South Africa saw the home team claiming third spot with a 10-5 win.
Captain Sione Molia was named in the tournament ‘Dream Team’ for his consistent performances and leads the ‘DHL Impact Player’ standings after two rounds.
The All Blacks Sevens sit second on the World Series standings with 37 points, one point behind USA at the top.
The next World Series event sees teams descend on New Zealand for the HSBC New Zealand Sevens in January.