Injuries haven't derailed consistent All Blacks Sevens

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    05 May 2013     Getty Images

Should Gordon Tietjens' side progress to and win their Cup quarter final, they will be crowned champions, regardless of what the chasing sides do.

Having made all seven Cup semi finals this season, and being the only side to reach every Cup quarter final, the odds are heavily in their favour to lift the trophy for a third successive year, but coach Tietjens is not taking anything for granted.

"We know it will be tough, we have a tough pool, and although we are 32 points ahead it is not over until it's over," said Tietjens.

"This tournament was crucial for us last year to go on and win it and we would like to defend our title, and if we can do that here we will certainly win the World Series.

"But we see it as a really big weekend, we have come a day earlier this year for some of the new guys, and hope we can win the World Series here in Scotland."

The 2012 victory at the Glasgow Sevens put them on course to win their 10th World Series title but this season New Zealand have only won one Cup, with Fiji and South Africa winning two each.

Next generation of stars

For a coach like Tietjens, defeats in four of the five Cup finals they have reached won't have pleased him, but it is that consistency that has secured them 132 points in the Series so far.

"It is about consistency and I suppose that is what you're looking at," added Tietjens, who was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2012.

"In Sevens you can lose a few players through injuries and the dynamics of your team changes in a huge way, and that has happened to us a few times this season.

"It is disappointing not to win the tournaments, but to win in South Africa and be there or thereabouts in five of the finals it has been a good year for us.

"It hurts us a lot to lose any game for the All Blacks Sevens, but we have to learn from the mistakes, as much as it hurts."

An 11th title is impressive in itself given those injuries throughout the season, which have enabled Tietjens to breed what he hopes is the next core of the All Blacks Sevens.

"You do get injuries, but players like Gillies Kaka and Sam Dickson, and five or six other youngsters have played who will hopefully be the core of this side in a few years time.

"That is a positive when you have so many injuries, that you bring on other players who can begin to star."

New Zealand face matches with England and Portugal before they meet Scotland in the final match of day one, which could prove decisive at both ends of the standings.