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All Blacks Sevens aim to seal series

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Sportal.co.nz     04 May 2013     Getty Images

Sitting 32 points clear of their nearest rivals, South Africa, a win this weekend will wrap up the series for New Zealand.

Only a monumental capitulation that sees them produce less than 13 points over the next two events will deny them glory.

However, New Zealand have won just one of the six finals they have appeared in this year.

Coach Gordon Tietjens is urging his men to end the drought and lock the trophy away a week before they head to England for the final outing.

"Even though we might be 32 points ahead, it's not over until it's over," Tietjens said.

"This is a crucial tournament for us to go on and win it [World Series]. We'd like to think that we could not defend our title but win it back and if we can do that here then we can win the World Series."

Reflecting on what he described as 'a good year' Tietjens said that injuries were a major factor in their inability to cross the finish line at individual tournaments.

"It's about consistency and performance ... in the sevens game you can lose one or two players through injury and the dynamic of your team changes in a huge way," he added.

"In our last two tournaments, in Japan and Hong Kong, we had nine new players. We did pretty well when you look at the face of it.

"It's disappointing not to win [all of] them but to win South Africa, and always being there or thereabouts, and being in five or six finals it's been quite a good year for us."

Successfully retaining the World Series marks a great achievement for the sevens game in New Zealand and it is hoped that success will be carried through until the Olympics in 2016.

Tietjens said injury-forced changes have allowed him unearth new talents that could potentially go on to win gold at the games in Rio.

The lure of Super Rugby and overseas contracts have, at times, hampered Tietjens' plans and he must now look to ensure rising stars such as Gillies kaka, Sam Dixon, Rocky Khan, Ben Lam, Trinity Spooner-Neera and Belgium Tuatagaloa are committed for the long term.

"We've got about four or five youngsters that will probably become the core of this team in years to come as long as they remain in the game of sevens."