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Tietjens seeks home inspiration

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Sportal.co.nz     06 Feb 2014     Getty Images

Both those losses were to the emerging South African side who have claimed the lead in the overall series.

New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens was looking for the inspiration to come at home and he believed he had a strong side for the task.

And while that created its own pressure, there was no doubt it was going to be tough and that was immediately obvious from having to front up against Fiji in the first outing of the tournament.

"It is the only time we get to play in front of our fans and families so that is quite special to us," he said.

Tietjens believed the South Africans were a lot like New Zealand because they had a lot of experience in core places in their side while having newer players coming through.

"When you look at Cecil Afrika and [Branco] du Preez and Frankie Horne, they have got a bit of experience there and an experienced coach who has also been part of the series as a player and it is no different from the Mikkelsons, the Forbes and the Camas and those players.

"We respect them in a huge way but they are not the only side out there," he said.

Fiji and Samoa were two other sides capable of competing at the highest level.

But Tietjens said it would be good if they got to play South Africa in Wellington because the two losses, in South Africa and in Las Vegas, had been close but he wasn't concerned with them at the moment because he had three tough pool games to come first.

New Zealand play Fiji, Spain and France on the first day. South Africa are drawn with England, Wales and Portugal.

Tietjens said it was a case of repeating himself at each tournament but there were six or seven teams regularly taking part who were capable of beating each other on a particular day.

But he said he was well aware there were still five tournaments to go in the Sevens series.