allblacks.com 01.Jul.2013AFP / Getty Images
"This is truly a humbling experience and I'm almost lost for words," said captain DJ Forbes. "I'm just so proud of the boys. This win is for the boys, the management here and everyone back home. It's really great to get another trophy."
DJ Forbes along with Lote Raikabula and Tomasi Cama were the only survivors of the team that got knocked out of the last World Cup in Dubai in 2009. Moscow was all about atonement as the team added to their HSBC Sevens World Series triumph this year.
“We came here to win this and the boys were very desperate," said Cama. "There was a legacy in the team and jersey and we wanted to create our own one so very pleased with the boy’s effort today.”
The triumph followed the New Zealand Women’s Sevens team earning their first World Championship after beating Canada.
“The girls winning their one put a bit of pressure on us to win our one as well, but Titch always said emotion can’t win the Cup for us, we had to go out there and do it and the boys delivered.”
Torrential rain turned the showcase final into a challenging and slippery encounter with the giant Luzhniki Stadium becoming a mud bath in parts, adding to a night of drama.
On route to the final New Zealand downed Fiji 17-0 in the semi-final, delayed by a spectacular lightning storm that cleared the playing field for just under an hour.
Earlier on Sunday New Zealand shook off some pool play jitters to down Wales in the quarter-final 26-10.
Coach Gordon Tietjens was a happy man, adding a second World Cup winner’s medal to this glittering trophy cabinet. He said the team had not played well in pool play, but had found its “buzz” on finals day. He put the turnaround down to attitude.
“It’s great thrill. To come up after the World Series and to cap it off with a World Cup is a tremendous season for us. And great to do it with the guys here tonight.”
Before the tournament Eric Rush, Brad Fleming and Jonah Lomu visited the team in camp and Tietjens said they talked about “getting the buzz going.
“We stumbled a bit in the first two days, but today in every game we played superbly and just so proud of the players and the way they performed.
“We had a tough draw. We really just one game at a time today. Fiji was a big one for us and perhaps most pleasing was the way we stuck to the game plan to beat England and comprehensively. They played right into our hands and we knew they would.
“We played a bit of good footy in the weather too which was great for the crowds. It was a bit of a kick fest and the All Blacks Sevens don’t like doing it, but it was all about winning a World Cup.”
He had special praise for his veteran captain DJ Forbes.
“Simply outstanding. He hadn’t won a World Cup so it meant a lot to him so I made sure he stayed on to the end. Very pleasing for DJ, such an inspirational leader and he has done so much for New Zealand Sevens.”
New Zealand 33 (Mikkelson (2), Cama, Naholo, Kaka, Cama cons)
Sir Gordon Tietjens talks after winning the Sevens World Champs 1673 views