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All Blacks Sevens beaten by Pumas in Paris

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 15/05/2016

An ill-disciplined New Zealand have lost 19-17 to Argentina in the quarter-finals of the Paris Sevens, effectively ending any hope of victory in the world series.

The All Blacks Sevens finished seventh in the penultimate round of the world series after losing their Plate semi-final 29-19 to South Africa.

Hoping to flex their muscles ahead of the Rio Olympics, the two losses completed a patchy tournament for the New Zealanders, who only pipped Kenya with a try after the final hooter in pool play.

They are likely to retain their third placing overall when the series concludes in London this week.

Fiji are poised to defend their series crown, having opened up a 14-point lead on second-placed South Africa after reaching the Paris final.

They lost the decider 29-26 to a resurgent Samoa, who had previously failed to reach the semi-finals in of this season's series.

A New Zealand side missing key injured trio DJ Forbes, Tim Mikkelson and Liam Messam appeared to have victory in the bag against Argentina, scoring through Rieko Ioane, Sione Molia and Teddy Stanaway to lead 17-5 midway through the second half.

However, a yellow card to stand-in New Zealand captain Kurt Baker for a high tackle proved the turning point.

While Baker was off, the Pumas scored converted tries to Juan Pablo Estelles and Rodrigo Etchart to record just their fourth world series win over the All Blacks Sevens.

New Zealand also squandered a lead against South Africa, having shot 12-0 ahead courtesy of two early Ioane tries.

They conceded the next four tries to the Blitzboks before Ioane's older brother Akira snared a late consolation.

World series standings: Fiji 166, South Africa 152, New Zealand 145, Australia 127, Argentina 107, United States 100.

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