All Blacks Sevens relegated to bronze medal match after ‘deadly error’

The All Blacks Sevens cut disappointing numbers after losing to Fiji in overtime.

David Rogers / Getty Photos

The All Blacks Sevens reduce disappointing numbers after shedding to Fiji in time beyond regulation.

Kick the ball and solely lead 14-0 within the first half?


That’s the view of All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw, regardless of the All Blacks Sevens being burnt midway by means of what resulted in a painful semi-final defeat to Fiji on the Commonwealth Video games in Birmingham on Monday morning (NZT).

“No. It’s not simply us, is it?” Moments later, he mentioned, Fiji captain Wes Nakoko rushed 80 meters in entrance of his five-man staff to attain a surprising 19-14 victory in shocking time beyond regulation.

It was solely the second Commonwealth Video games defeat for the All Blacks Sevens in historical past, and a bitter blow to a staff that has received 5 of six earlier titles for the reason that sport joined the Video games in 1998.

“Previous captain too late. You drop an objection and everybody begins taking a look at it. We’re actually assured that we’ll rating from this scrum, and in the event you do this it is going to be 21-0 and the match is nearly over.”

They simply do not.

Main 14-0, and in charge of the match after the sound of gunfire sounded on the finish of the primary half, the All Blacks launched an assault from the midfield, which was intercepted by a Fijian Filipe Sauturaga and brought house.

Wizia Nakok of Fiji beats Kiwi Caleb Tangitao to score the win in his semi-final win at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

David Rogers / Getty Photos

Wizia Nakok of Fiji beats Kiwi Caleb Tangitao to attain the win in his semi-final win on the Commonwealth Video games in Birmingham.

To make issues worse, Scott Curry injured his hamstring in pursuit of Sauturaga, forcing him to go away the ring within the first half.

“Sure, I did [feel like a double blow]. Not a lot objection, Scott’s loss is a fair larger hit. “You are going to play 14-7 towards Fiji, and possibly take that into the sport,” Laidlaw mentioned.

Holding his hamstrings off the bench, Curry might solely watch Fiji rating one of many competitors’s makes an attempt to carry the match with three minutes remaining.

The drama was solely at the start.

Fiji’s shaky streak gave New Zealand a wonderful alternative to guide their ticket for the gold medal match, just for Tun Ng Chiu to guide himself and drop the ball chilly inside 22.

New Zealander Ngarohi McGarvey-Black comforts Fiji's Josua Vakurinbeli after Fiji beat the Kiwi in overtime.

Andrew Koringa/Photosport

New Zealander Ngarohi McGarvey-Black comforts Fiji’s Josua Vakurinbeli after Fiji beat the Kiwi in time beyond regulation.

Moments later, the All Blacks Sevens had been lowered to 5 males after Akuila Rokolosia (deliberate knockout) and Leroy Carter (late sort out) had been missed.

Someway, they denied the Fiji raid on their line on the finish of regulation. However, with two gamers nonetheless falling, the dagger got here nearly instantly after New Zealand began time beyond regulation.

“It burned like,” mentioned Captain Sam Dixon. “You’ll endure for a very long time.”

He simply missed the Samoan gamers, spurred on by Fiji’s win, previous the media interview space shouting and shouting the rating, and it appeared like nearly everybody on the 32,000-capacity stadium in Coventry desperately wanted him.

All Black Sevens Joe Webber and Aquila Rukuleswa couldn't hide their disappointment after their 14-0 victory over Fiji in the Commonwealth Games semi-finals.

Matt Emby/Photosport

All Black Sevens Joe Webber and Aquila Rukuleswa could not disguise their disappointment after their 14-0 victory over Fiji within the Commonwealth Video games semi-finals.

“An enormous mistake that allowed them to return again, which is precisely what you don’t need towards Fiji,” mentioned Dixon.

“Clearly two yellow playing cards on the finish actually harm. It was all our faults, we had possibilities there to win and management the match, and we weren’t ok.”

appears acquainted?

Actually, similar to the Black Ferns Sevens within the semi-finals, they had been unable to realize success when confronted with the chance.

Now, having entered Birmingham as two New Zealand hopefuls for the gold medal, each should select themselves for Monday’s bronze medal matches.

“I am not assured. I’ve by no means had one earlier than. Now we have to let it sink in,” Laidlaw, New Zealand coach since 2017, mentioned of the match towards Australia. It is exhausting to take it for the time being, however that is seven occasions.”

“Now we have a whole lot of respect for the Commonwealth Video games, we have now a whole lot of respect for ourselves… We are going to mud ourselves off and put together for that match.”

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