All Blacks Sevens fall to USA in quarterfinal

Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

Lynn McConnell     12 Mar 2018     Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

Then England, who hadn't beaten them this year, handed out a 17-21 defeat in their play-off game.

The United States were halted by Kenya 24-19 in the semifinals while Fiji, who went on to win the tournament, beat South Africa 15-12 in the other semifinal.

Fiji then beat Kenya 31-12 in the final.

New Zealand are now in third place in the standings on 92 points. South Africa still lead with 109 points while Fiji are second on 101. Four rounds remain in Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Paris.

All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw said it was frustrating after the side had built so well during the first day's play, including an outstanding win over South Africa.

"We had a tricky start against Scotland, I thought we showed a lot of composure. We gave a lot of guys minutes against Russia which put us in a really good position to play well against South Africa and last night was probably as well as we have played at any stage of the season.

"To not come out this morning and replicate that was really frustrating and disappointing. We've got to look at how we prepare the team from the coaching point of view first and then with the players on how we execute on day two a lot better than we did today," he said.

Laidlaw felt the problem was around trying to build their game too quickly and they needed to work out what worked best for them at the moment.

He didn't think the loss was down to missing injured players Tim Mikkelson and Vilimoni Koroi. They were obviously two good players but they still had enough opportunities against the United States to score and build their game.

Against England the game had got away from them and there appeared to be some overhang from the earlier loss to the USA.

"When you beat a team at every tournament they were probably pretty fired up to get one back on us," he said.

Ahead of the Commonwealth Games, their next tournament, they needed to work out what their A game was and replicate the sort of performance they had produced against South Africa on day one, he said.

They also needed to regain the sort of touch they had in winning earlier tournaments, or semifinals.

"We've won some big games but we've probably lost four or five by the last play of the game so we're not far away by any means," Laidlaw said.