Tietjens reflects on 11th Sevens series title
irb.com and James Mortimer 11 May 2013 Getty Images
It has been another remarkable season of success and achievement for New Zealand and this title is their 11th in 14 years and coach Gordon Tietjens has been at the helm for all of them.
The All Blacks Sevens may have only won one Cup, compared to South Africa's three and Fiji's two, but they have never finished lower than third, and are the only side to have made every Cup competition all season.
"It has been a great season for us in terms of consistency and also in that we have brought in new players," said Tietjens.
"We currently have a squad with nine players that have just 30 odd tournaments between them, and then 150 between three that are our experience core, so to be in six finals, and to be convincingly ahead to win the Series at this stage is a great achievement for us.
"I have always said you can win the World Series without winning a tournament, but it is about being consistent. W ehave made every Cup semi final which is great for us, but we see every game we play and I think that has been our key."
Tietjens' side won their only Cup in Port Eliabeth, at the Nelson Mandela Bay South Africa Sevens, to make it a record four consecutive titles in that tournament.
In that final Tim Mikkelson, who Tietjens admits has been one of his standout players this season, set up one of the tries of the tournament for Kurt Baker.
Mikkelson will lift the Series trophy at Twickenham in DJ Forbes' absence through injury and he agrees with his head coach.
"It feels good to have won the Series," added Mikkelson. "All the hard work has paid off and to go in with one tournament to spare means we can go in to play without any pressure, to play footy and try and win the tournament.
"There are nine tournaments, so you have to turn up every game and that is what we try to do. I think we would have liked to win more tournaments, but to win it being the most consistent is good and lifting the trophy at Twickenham will be the ultimate way to finish the Series. "We have a big squad and it took the depth of that to win the Series. We know who comes in can do the job, and that is great looking forward to the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics knowing there is pressure for spots."
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