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‘Tough to take’: All Blacks Sevens stunned in Cape Town by history-makers

By Finn Morton
Ireland beat New Zealand at the Cape Town SVNS. Picture: World Rugby

Coach Tomasi Cama admits the All Blacks Sevens’ disastrous 36-21 quarter-final defeat to Ireland will be “tough to take” as the team searches for answers after their third loss in four games.


New Zealand were caught on the wrong side of one of the early upsets of the season when Dubai SVNS wooden spooners Canada handed Cama’s men a shocking 19-7 loss to open pool play.

The All Blacks Sevens bounced back with an emphatic win over Trans-Tasman rivals Australia on the main pitch at the Western Cape venue, but another loss to Samoa saw the Kiwis finish third in their pool.

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With the men in black sneaking through to the cup quarter-finals as one of the two ‘best’ third-placed sides across the three pools, an opportunity to redeem themselves when it counted awaited them.

But Ireland – who had topped Pool A after handing South Africa their first loss of the SVNS season late on day one – were far too good on a sweltering Sunday morning.

Hat-trick hero Terry Kennedy led the way as Ireland got “a monkey off our back” with their first-ever win over New Zealand on the SVNS Series.

Whether they knew that they were on the wrong side of history or not, the All Blacks Sevens were silent, frustrated and disappointed as they walked towards their changeroom.


Their quest for cup final glory in Cape Town was over.

“We were poor. We didn’t start well,” Cama told RugbyPass.


“We talked about being patient and building phases but we went away from it and (playing against) a quality side, they punished us.”

Terry Kennedy opened the scoring in the first minute and it was all one-way traffic from there as Ireland ran up the SVSN equivalent of a cricket score at the Cape Town Stadium.

Ireland led 31-nil before Tepaea Cook Savage scored for the New Zealanders in the 11th minute, with tries to Cody Vai and Ngarohi McGarvey-Black making the score look a little kinder.


Coach Cama said the playing group are “gonna be hurt” after that 15-point defeat, with the All Blacks Sevens kicking off their world title defence without cup final gold in Dubai and Cape Town.

“It’s tough to take,” Cama said.

“The boys have to go back and (take a look at) what we’re doing individually and as a team.

“We just lack the consistency on our effort and try to build phases and break teams down but we’re forcing a lot of errors, same as last week.

“It’s not a big thing, it’s the small things that we can tally up but the effort, we need to front and start well I suppose.”


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Michael 190 days ago

AB7s out of touch with how the game has progressed from last year. OK its early days, but WOW three losses in four games is a pretty low point.

Andrew 191 days ago

NZ 7s going down the gurgler. Our guys think last yrs defensive tactics will be fine. This obviously delights their opponents…even Canada…

Pecos 191 days ago

“Tough to take”? Tougher to watch but in this case, the 21-36 scoreline flattered the AB7s. This was really about the Irish winning rather than us losing. We were out-matched, out-paced, out-passioned, & out-thought. Any issues we had were forced upon us by relentless pressure. Full credit.

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