England stand between All Blacks Sevens and key points

Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

Lynn McConnell     04 Mar 2018     Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

Having lost to Fiji in injury time in their quarterfinal they would be looking to secure fifth placing against an England side they have met in every round of the series this season.
Coach Clark Laidlaw said that familiarity meant they knew how to play England.

"We've won those games but they have been really close. There's only a score in every game," he said.

The side would need to recover well and execute their plan to continue that run of success.

Laidlaw said the loss to Fiji had been frustrating and disappointing.

"Tactically we were really smart and executed our game plan. We really thought we had done enough to probably win the game and I suppose we have to be good enough to close those games out and take some of those decisions, and the 50-50s at the end, and take them out of the game," he said.

The key to achieving that couldn't be avoided. It was time together with some of the younger playmakers brought into the side understanding how they finished.

"We had the opportunity to set a ruck and basically kick the ball out. It doesn't take much but we need to learn a little bit faster.

"It's the same as the game in Sydney where we lost in the last play of the game. To lose after the hooter again is really disappointing," he said.

There was still plenty to play for in Las Vegas with a chance to playoff for fifth place, although England would be standing in the way of that opportunity.

But with the side still live in the World Series, the Commonwealth Games just around the corner and a World Cup later in the year, there was plenty on the horizon for the side.

The closeness of the competition had been borne out in Las Vegas with the All Blacks Sevens having lost to Argentina, Kenya beat Fiji while Canada had gone close to beating South Africa.

"It's so close but again we've got to find ways in those close games to close them out and learn and mature quickly because it's really tight and that's not going to change in the near future," he said.

In spite of the fact they won't be contesting the semi-finals, Laidlaw said there had been growth in the team and they were getting stronger and they were finding out what worked for them.

Saturday (NZT) had not been good enough in losing to Argentina but they had come back on Sunday and were better but it wasn't quite enough.

"So we will have to learn from that and come back and get stuck in tomorrow," he said.