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New Zealand sets IRB Sevens World Series Record for Consecutive Match and Tournament Wins

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Tuesday, 12 February 2008

New Zealand has continued its dominance of the IRB Sevens World Series 2007/2008 by winning its fourth consecutive tournament of the season at the USA Sevens in San Diego, California (February 9 and 10 2008). New Zealand beat South Africa in the cup final in the USA to extend its margin on the IRB Sevens World Series leader board to 32 points ahead of the second-placed South Africans and third-placed Fiji. 

Not only has New Zealand won a record fourth consecutive event in a single season of the IRB Sevens World Series, it also extended its record match winning streak to 36 games. The new record bests the mark set by the New Zealand Sevens squad of 2001/2002, a team that featured star players like Eric Rush, Karl Te Nana and Amasio Valence.

New Zealand has now extended its tournament wins to six consecutive circuit events including the final two events on last years IRB Sevens World Series in London and Edinburgh.

In San Diego, New Zealand equalled the previous IRB Sevens World Series record of 34 consecutive match wins in the best way possible, by fending off a strong challenge from Fiji 28 5 in the cup quarter-finals. Wins number 35 and 36 came against Kenya (50 10) in the cup semi-final and South Africa in the cup final (27 12).

With South Africa reaching the cup final in San Diego, New Zealand has now beaten three of its closest competitors in the Series in cup final matches, having overcome Fiji in the cup finals in Dubai and George, South Africa; defending Hong Kong Sevens champions Samoa in the final of the Wellington Sevens and now South Africa.

The team will look to extend its magnificent record at the Cathay Pacific / Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens (March 28 30 2008), where they will remarkably be seeking their first Hong Kong victory since 2002.

With New Zealand threatening to break away from the other teams on the Series, the 30 points on offer to the Cup Champions in Hong Kong, (the most of any event on the IRB Sevens World Series as the Hong Kong Sevens is the only IRB Sevens World Series event to feature 24 teams), will be crucial for any teams looking to challenge the Kiwi juggernaut in the second half of the World Series. Buoyed by the increased points on offer and the IRB Sevens World Series most lucrative prize purse of US$150,000, all of the teams participating in Hong Kong will be looking to make their mark.

Jo Savou, coach of Fiji, said following the San Diego Sevens that For the Hong Kong Sevens, we will welcome back Semisi Naevo and William Ryder from Japan as well as Nasoki Roko and Vunibaka. Asked about the challenge facing the flying Fijians in their bid to unseat the favourites New Zealand and lift the cup in Hong Kong for the first time since the 2005 Rugby World Cup Sevens, Savou confidently added that the team is looking forward to it.

In other results from San Diego, Fiji went on to win the Plate, edging Argentina 26 21 while the USA lost a heartbreaker in front of their home support to Wales in the Bowl final 21 19. Australia beat Chile 24 12 to take home the Shield  from San Diego.

The official tournament draw for the Cathay Pacific / Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens 2008 takes place on Thursday, 14 February, 2008.

See other recent news regarding: Travel News Asia, Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, Rugby Sevens, Hong Kong, Pictures of the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, New Zealand

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