Kurt Baker scored a hat trick as New Zealand beat France in
the final of the South Africa sevens tournament. Photo
New Zealand have continued their winning form in the
South Africa Sevens tournament, thrashing France 47-12 in the
Cup final for their fourth consecutive title in Port Elizabeth.
It was New Zealand's first victory of the season after
falling short in their two other Cup finals against Samoa in
Dubai and Fiji in Australia.
"It was important," coach Gordon Tietjens said of breaking
their duck for the season.
"We talked about it just briefly. We had to work really hard.
We were quite clinical today. You never underestimate the
French either coming into a final like this ... to win it
convincingly in the end was awesome."
Series leaders New Zealand scored seven tries to one, Kurt
Baker scoring a hat-trick and Ben Lam, Sam Dickson, Tim
Mikkelson and Milford Keresoma also dotting down. Tomasi Cama
kicked six conversions from seven attempts.
Tietjens' side had edged South Africa 12-5 in the semifinals
after thrashing Wales 35-5 in the quarter-finals.
"The players performed magnificently today. The younger
players coming in did their bit when they needed to but the
core group of five experienced players - Cama, [DJ] Forbes,
Mikkelson, [Lote] Raikabula, Baker, they were just
outstanding," Tietjens said.
Captain Forbes added: "The boys needed this one - three
finals, we needed to start winning. Obviously, looking ahead
going into our home tourney, it's good to have one in the
The Wellington tournament will be held on February 1-2.