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NZ chase more Wellington Sevens success

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/01/2017

The NZ sevens team at the Wellington Sevens. © Getty Images The NZ sevens team at the Wellington Sevens. New Zealand are leaning on their exceptional history at the Wellington Sevens as they seek out an increasingly rare world series tournament win.

The All Blacks have gone seven tournaments without even reaching the final, including at the Rio Olympics, with some of the shine having faded on an enormously successful team.

However, their success at Wellington is enduring, having won nine of the last 14 tournaments there, including the last three in a row.

Assistant coaches Scott Waldrom and Tomasi Cama have reminded the players this week of some of New Zealand's previous moments of magic in the capital.

That includes the post-hooter team try finished by Joe Webber to steal last year's final against South Africa 24-21.

"That's a moment a lot of the boys now use as inspiration and use to get themselves up," Waldrom said.

"Maybe we can have another moment like that - hopefully not too close - but another win would be outstanding."

New Zealand are fifth through the first two of 10 rounds.

They were slaughtered 40-0 by the Blitzboks in the quarter-finals of the series opener in Dubai late last year before a far more competitive showing in Cape Town featured a tense 14-7 semi-final loss, again to series leaders South Africa.

New Zealand are fielding one of the more settled teams, featuring experienced players such as Scott Curry, his predecessor as captain DJ Forbes, Tim Mikkelson and Sherwin Stowers.

However, youth has been injected in the form of four world series debutants.

Fiji are missing several of the players involved in their Rio triumph while South Africa have been struck by injury, losing key duo Cecil Afrika and Kyle Brown to injury.

Fiji and the Blitzboks have ended up in the same pool on Saturday, alongside the unfortunate Australia and Japan.

New Zealand's pool opponents are Samoa, France and the United States.

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