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Tietjens: IRB Sevens is getting tougher

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Sportal.co.nz     30 May 2011     Getty Images

Australia was then beaten 35-36 by South Africa who completed two wins in the final two tournaments of the IRB series after their success in London last weekend. South Africa finished second overall in the series with England third.

South Africa beat Wales 22-19 in their semi-final.

Earlier on the final day New Zealand blitzed England 26-12, scoring three tries before England secured the ball.

New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens said after New Zealand received the World Series Trophy, "It has been a very tough year, a good year, winning four out of the eight tournaments.

"It would have been great to win it [the Edinburgh leg] today but it wasn't to be.

"I think what is really pleasing is that we won the World Series in a year where Sevens is growing, it is a lot stronger now," he said.

Consistency was the key to overall success with the side's worst results being elimination in semi-finals.

"When you look back to Dubai a long time ago in 1999, to go on and win nine of the 12 is just credit to the players that have come through the Sevens system in New Zealand. It is really tough, but it is really successful and rewarding," Tietjens said.

The New Zealand coach has been the only person to have been involved in the 100 IRB Sevens tournaments, a milestone passed at Edinburgh.

The 100th game had come around quickly and he had not thought about that milestone until a function before the final tournament.

Tietjens acknowledged his core group of players, DJ Forbes, Lote Raikabula, Tomasi Cama, Solomon King and Tim Mikkelson.

"You need that core of experienced players, that is key for young players to learn from and hopefully we can blood a few more next year, because it is growing, it is going to get stronger and there are a few more players making themselves available, but next year is going to be a big year for us to defend this," he said.

Winning South African coach in Edinburgh Paul Treu praised New Zealand's consistency.

"It just shows that Gordon Tietjens is an unbelievable coach and the structure they have in New Zealand and the depth of talent they have," he said.