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Monday, February 10, 2014

New Zealand beat South Africa to claim Wellington Sevens victory

New Zealand picked up their first win over South Africa in the HSBC Sevens World Series since 2012 when they put on a clinical display in front of their home crowd in Wellington on Saturday. The 21-0 victory sees them move back to the top of the table. 

South Africa were denied a third successive tournament win as they were outplayed and outmuscled by the All Blacks Sevens team in wet conditions at the Westpac Stadium.

Sherwin Stowers and Tim Mikkelson scored the tries and kept the Blitzbokke scoreless as New Zealand conceded just 12 points all tournament, coming in their opening loss to Fiji.

"The loss to Fiji woke us up a little bit, to the extent that we got our defence right," said coach Gordon Tietjens. "Defence wins tournaments. What really capped it off was the final tackle of the final - it was a great, great tackle."

"We had the game won but the drive for no one to cross our line was still there," he added.

Fiji themselves claimed third place after a 14-7 win against England, while Australia took the Plate, Kenya lifted the Bowl and the USA claimed a second successive Shield.

New Zealand are now two points clear of South Africa on 99 points, while Fiji are in third spot overall with 73. The next round is in Tokyo on 22-23 March.

View the all the knockout stages of the tournament, including the final, below

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