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Young AllBlacks Sevens ensure sound start

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Sportal.co.nz     15 Oct 2012     Getty Images

Fielding a new look side with seven players new to international play, Tietjens compared this year's effort of reaching the final with their exit in the quarter-finals stage in the season opener last year.

"It was a great start for us," he said, "to come here with these new young players and get to the final and just sit behind Fiji now."

Along the way New Zealand beat Kenya 15-5 in the semi-finals and Argentina 12-7 in the quarter-finals. On the first day they lost to South Africa 21-31, but beat Canada 28-21 and the United States 19-7.

"Going into our second tournament I'll have probably a totally different side with all the experienced players coming back once the ITM [Cup] commitments are finished in New Zealand so there'll be a lot more experience coming back and perhaps some Super Rugby players that haven't made the current squads," Tietjens said.

"I honestly felt going into the final we were up against it. We were up against a very good side that has played particularly well all weekend. They lost one game yesterday [Saturday] to Australia, a very good Australian team as well but in saying that I thought coming into the tournament if we had made the top four I would have been really happy.

"And when we made that and then into the top two I was even happier and you're in with a chance. We went in with some self belief that we could win this and we were ahead for a while. But that amount of pressure, that amount of experience and the great sevens players they have got they were always going to be hard to hold out.

"They were just too good. No excuses," he said.

Tietjens said: "We didn't play well. We had to get combinations together, players who have just come back from 15s, my three guys, my specialist guys. But all my six young guys, or seven new guys really, first time in a New Zealand jersey, it's an experience for them and to experience a final against a pretty good Fijian team was awesome for them. They'll never forget that.

"You learn from your mistakes and that's how you grow as a great sevens player," he said.