By Machuki Sundaa
The New Zealand All Blacks Sevens are hoping for an improved performance in Singapore after a disappointing sixth-placed finish in the Hong Kong leg of the HSBC World Sevens Series.
This is the third time this season that a podium finish has eluded New Zealand, with their last medal being a bronze at the Las Vegas 7s in March. The All Blacks have won two tournaments and two third places from seven outings and are third in the standings with 118 points.
Having been knocked out of Cup contention by France, New Zealand’s woes were compounded by a loss to Argentina in the fifth-place play-off, which was marred by forced errors and ill-discipline.
New Zealand player Sam Dickson said every player should look at themselves and focus on performing to their potential.
“As long as everyone can improve at least two per cent for this week then that is a big gain overall for the team,” said Dickson. “We will be bringing a lot of mongrel and fire in Singapore to make up for this weekend, but we have plenty of belief in our systems.”
Fiji, who triumphed in Hong Kong for the fifth straight time, are second with 123 points while the United States still lead after finishing third with 130 points.
With South Africa breathing down their necks in fourth place with 99 points and just three legs of the 2018/19 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series remaining, the All Blacks Sevens know how important it is to finish strong in Singapore, London and Paris.
For the Singapore Sevens this weekend, New Zealand are in Pool D with Japan, Spain and Samoa.
Main photo caption: Joe Webber in action for New Zealand against Fiji
Photo credit: Mike Lee – KLC fotos, World Rugby