December 6 - New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens is confident victory in Dubai has set his side up for more success in the long season ahead, which includes the International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens World Series and next year's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

However, Tietjens, who is also the most successful coach in the history of the sevens format, has also warned his men against complacency as the circuit is getting tighter between the established and the up-and-coming teams.

The Kiwis beat Samoa 24-12 in yesterday's final in the opening IRB Sevens World Series tournament yesterday, for their first title in just over 18 months.


A number of new faces were drafted into Tietjens' side last season and for most of the players this was their first taste of success.


Thrilled to see the Kiwis break their 18-month hoodoo, Tietjens says his side must now ensure they achieve all-round consistency, especially when it comes to making finals regularly.

He said: "We got a big year ahead - eight tournaments in the Series and the Commonwealth Games and this was just the start.


"You've got to be out there and work really hard.


"Starting well is a bonus because if you start slowly it's a real struggle to get up.


"Consistency is about winning tournaments and also consistency of performance is about doing well.


"You're never going to win every tournament; it's not going to happen.


"But you've got to be a real contender when it comes to the series."

Tietjens sees Kenya as a potent threat in the Sevens arena, which he feels is perfect for teams that are looking to surprise.

He said: "Sevens is a pretty tough game now.


"The bounce of the ball, one mistake can cost you the game.


"It can actually cost you the opportunity of making a quarter-final.


"So many sides are so close today.


"Kenya are close to beating South Africa, we only beat them [in the quarter-final] at the death here.

"The games were very confrontational, very physical and we won that battle in the contact areas and that to me was the key point in Dubai."


Tietjens' inspirational skipper D.J. Forbes said having tasted success in Dubai his young side will be hungrier at future tournaments.

He said: "I think this is what we needed.


"Last year, we made three finals but we tripped up and to finally get a win and for some of the boys to actually experience that winning, it will definitely give them a lot of hunger for the next game," Forbes said.

"I guess we were craving that win and to finally get it is definitely a great feeling."

Tomasi Cama, one of four experienced members in Tietjens' side, whose second try in final arriving in the last minute of play, said even the youngest of members in the squad put themselves on the line in what is now a famous victory purely because of the long drought that ensued after their Scotland Sevens success on the final day of the 2007-08 Series.

He said: "It shows they've got the skill and the keenness to win tournaments and I hope we will carry on from there."



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