All Blacks down SA

WELLINGTON. — Three late tries, one after the final hooter saw New Zealand fight back to beat South Africa 24-21 in the final of the Wellington Sevens, the third leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series yesterday.

It was New Zealand’s first win on the 2015-16 circuit and saw them move up to third on the table behind South Africa and Fiji as interest in sevens heightens ahead of its Olympic debut this year. Captain Tim Mikkelson attributed the determination not to give up when down by 14 points in the second half to a pep talk from 15s World Cup-winning All Black Liam Messam.

“We talked all week that we needed a lot of heart, a lot of ticker. Liam Messam talked about putting the mana (pride) back in the jersey after the last couple of tournaments and that’s what we wanted to do,” Mikkelson said. — AFP.

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