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World Sevens title in NZ's grasp

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Sportal.co.nz     07 May 2012     Getty Images

Their 29-14 win over England increased their overall lead to 11 points over Fiji their closest rivals.

New Zealand go into next weekend's final leg in London knowing that a place in the Plate Final would be sufficient to retain their World Series crown.

Tim Mikkelson and captain DJ Forbes, playing his 50th IRB tournament, each scored before halftime in response to a try from James Rodwell.

A minute into the second half Ardie Savea crossed and while England scored through Dan Norton, but Lote Raikabula and Forbes, for his 98th Sevens try, scored again to cement the win.

New Zealand had earlier beat Argentina (36-5) and Australia (22-7) to make the final while England beat South Africa ( 19-14) and Fiji (26-21) , in extra time. Fiji beat Australia 31-17 to finish third.

Coach Gordon Tietjens said it had been a tough tournament with a tough final.

"It's awesome to win here, it probably gives us a better chance to win our title back. It's important to get points going into the last tournament. It's not there yet though, we've still got a bit of work to do," he said.

Injuries were a concern for New Zealand and Tietjens said it was going to be tough in London. Back Bryce Heem suffered a heavy blow and there was a lengthy blow while he was attended to.

Tietjens praised the effort of Forbes and said he was an inspirational captain who led the side so well.

Forbes said his 50th didn't really matter, the side was in Britain to claim the World Series.

"Potentially we've got one hand on the World Series Trophy at the moment but we've still got to do a job next week," he said.

The pressure would be on at Twickenham with its intimidating environment but Forbes said he enjoyed playing there and even after so many visits it still lifted him playing there.