Another South African triumph for All Blacks Sevens
Sportal.co.nz 10 Dec 2012 Getty Images
They then came from 0-5 down to beat the host country South Africa 12-5 as Tomasi Cama, playing in his 51st IRB Sevens tournament took control to set up the finals chance.
New Zealand totally dominated the final, leading 21-7 at half-time and finishing with seven tries to France's two.
France beat Portugal in their quarter-final 10-7 and then beat Argentina in an extra time semi-final after the sides were level at 7-7 at fulltime.
Earlier, Argentina beat Fiji after landing a penalty dropped goal in the last minute to win 15-12.
All Blacks Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens said it was a nice birthday present from the team for him.
"It's our first real win as an All Blacks sevens team. I'm pleased for the new young players but the experienced players did really well.
"To be out in front before we hit Wellington [February 1-2] is an awesome place to be. You never want to start slow in the World Series so to be up there, or thereabouts, is pretty good at the moment," he said.
Despite the tournament being New Zealand's first win of the year, its consistency has seen it post 60 points with France second on 46, Fiji third on 44, South Africa fourth on 41 and Samoa on 39.
New Zealand were conscious that France had a tough semi-final and made that part of their game plan.
"We wanted to speed it up, we probably under-estimated them a little bit," Tietjens said.
" You've always got a lot of respect for France because you never know what they are going to come out and do. They're a good side, they've been there or thereabouts throughout the world series this year. An awesome performance by my side but I also compliment France on the way they played," he said.
"Kurt's [Baker] made the transition back into Sevens from 15s, not picked up by a Super Rugby side so that's awesome, he's a great Sevens player, he works very hard and he's rewarded with all the tries he does get."
Tietjens said the side was now looking to defending their Wellington title in February.
"We love Wellington, it's a biggie for us. There's always pressure to win your own tournament, you can ask South Africa that today. It's always about one game at a time. We've got to get through Christmas," he said.
There were some injuries suffered during the tournament and it would be a case of getting those sorted and getting back into preparation in the New Year for the Wellington event.
Captain DJ Forbes bore the scars of victory, two broken and seven stitches in his lip suffered in the opening game of the tournament.
"I think there're a lot of people in South Africa who have been willing us on and praying for us both here and back home so to do it here at our home-away-from-home is definitely special and special for the people here," he said.
Forbes said the fact the tournament tended to coincide with Tietjens' birthday was a factor in the side always doing well in South Africa.
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