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All Blacks Sevens third in Paris

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/05/2017

New Zealand's Paris campaign has finished on a disappointing and familiar note as they placed third at penultimate leg of the sevens world series.

The All Blacks Sevens won five of six games but, as has been the case all season, failed to qualify for the final.

A 26-5 hammering from South Africa in the semi-finals sealed their fate at Stade Jean-Bouin.

The Blitzboks went on to beat Scotland 15-5 in the final, in the process sealing the championship with a round to spare.

Their fourth title from nine tournaments this year means South Africa can't be caught by second-placed England or third-placed Olympic champions Fiji, regardless the outcome of this week's final event in London.

It is their second world title, with the first coming eight years ago.

New Zealand are virtually guaranteed to come fourth, their equal-worst finish, matching the outcomes in 2005-06 and 2008-09.

After impressing through pool play, they started brightly on Sunday, shutting out hosts France 14-0 in the quarter-finals courtesy of first-half tries to captain DJ Forbes and Sione Molia.

After opening the semi-final scoring through a try to Regan Ware, New Zealand struggled to deny possession to the speedy Blitzboks.

They conceded two tries in each half, including a second-half double to Rosko Specman.

Tries to Sam Dickson and Sherwin Stowers lifted New Zealand to a 12-5 win over England in the play-off for bronze after trailing early on.

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