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Absorbing lessons the work-on for NZ Sevens

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Lynn McConnell     04 Feb 2018     Getty Images

The need to execute under pressure remained a point of development but coach Clark Laidlaw said they were slowly building their game and they were adding things in, but they needed to be done under the pressure that came with matchplay.

But they would also look at increasing pressure in training and increasing the stress on players.

Laidlaw said he was frustrated with the fourth placing in Hamilton over the weekend. 



They had a chance to beat Fiji near the end of their semifinal but they didn't take it and Fiji went on to be outstanding in the final to beat South Africa 24-17.

And for the All Blacks Sevens to concede a penalty in the last play of the game against Australia for third and fourth was disappointing as Australia claimed an 8-7 win.

"Over the two weeks we've blooded some new players. We feel as if we've grown as a group off the field and I suppose now is the time to go back and really start working hard towards Las Vegas and Vancouver again [at the start of next month]," he said.

The efforts of new players in the side, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Caleb Clarke and Luke Masirewa, who had only been with the side for two weeks, had performed well on Sunday and could be satisfied with their efforts.

Laidlaw reiterated his comments of the first day on the suitability of Hamilton at its first hosting of the event.

During the semifinal he said it was hard to tell if you were in Suva or Hamilton such was the level of noise.

It was disappointing to lose the semifinal in front of the home crowd and there had been some tears in the dressing room afterwards and it had been tough to come out and try again in the play off for third and fourth.

However, the side would look to come back next year and go a little better, he said.

One of the highlights of the tournament for the New Zealanders was the achievement of Tim Mikkelson scoring his 200th try, the most by any New Zealander and the sixth highest total in the competition's history.

He scored the try against England in New Zealand's quarterfinal win and said while he could still remember scoring his first it was nice to achieve his 200th in front of friends and family in Hamilton.

The crowd had been amazing, especially in the semifinal against Fiji and he was hopeful it would be bigger and better next year.

"It was extremely disappointing to lose to a strong Fiji team. We had our opportunities but just didn't take them at the end of the game. We're a young team and we're building toward bigger things and we really need to take the lessons from this tournament,' Mikkelson said.

Heading towards Las Vegas continuing to work on basic skills would be important and while they had worked hard on defence they had still let in some tries.

"We played some pretty good footy but some little mistakes crept in at the end of the tournament and I suppose cost us in the end," he said.