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Cody Vai says ‘this is not it’ for All Blacks Sevens after Hong Kong triumph

By Finn Morton
New Zealand's Cody Vai celebrates after scoring a try in the Hong Kong Sevens final. Picture: World Rugby.

All Blacks Sevens ace Cody Vai has vowed that “this is not it” for the New Zealanders this season after they claimed a drought-breaking Cup final title at Hong Kong Stadium on Sunday.

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Reigning Series champions New Zealand claimed a hard-earned bronze medal at the season’s first event in Dubai last December but a lack of consistency has cost the Kiwis in the five events since.

New Zealand have missed the quarter-finals twice during the 2023/24 season, and other than the Hong Kong Sevens they’ve only made one other Cup final which was a defeat to Argentina in Vancouver.

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But there are signs of promise, and with a first-ever Grand Final event in Madrid only a couple of months away, there’s every reason for New Zealand rugby fans to be excited as the SVNS Series nears its finale.

The All Blacks Sevens have successfully defended their crown at the iconic Hong Kong Stadium by going back-to-back after beating a tough French outfit  10-7 in a historic decider. With the Hong Kong Sevens potentially relocating to Kai Trek Sports Park from 2025, the New Zealanders have etched their names into the history books.

“It means a lot to us,” New Zealand’s Cody Vai told RugbyPass on the field after the epic finale at the Hong Kong Sevens.

“Hong Kong is one of the ones that we want to turn around and (we’ll) probably go up from there until the Olympics.

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“This is not it. This is part of the journey and the end journey is obviously the Olympics.”

About this time last year, when the All Blacks Sevens lifted the Hong Kong Sevens trophy, Cody Vai was the new kid on the SVNS Series block.

As a youngster with plenty of potential, Vai showed signs of promise and excellence as the All Blacks Sevens went on to claim Cup final glory. Now, a year on, Vai is a two-time champion at the spiritual home of the sport.

“I think it’s a bit more special,” Vai explained when asked if this was as special as last year’s victory.

“Some of the boys in this team right now have never won a Hong Kong. To win it with them is a better feeling because they’ve been in the team for a while and this was one of their goals and I’m happy to achieve it with them.

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“It’s all in the team. They’re making it easier for me. They do their job, I do my job and it’s teamwork.”

The All Blacks Sevens, who were sixth on the overall SVNS Series standings before the event in Hong Kong China, have moved up one place to fifth.

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Comments

5 Comments
J
Jmann 72 days ago

ABs 7s have been so very poor this year that I admit to being surprised at how well they played in HK. Perhaps those injuries early on were a bigger deal than it first seemed.

E
Euan 72 days ago

AB Sevens defence tackling was superb in the final vs France. I expect France to be in Olympic final.

R
Roy 73 days ago

Great weekend for sevens rugby in NZ. I could not be more proud of our toa and wahine. Conducted themselves with great grace and did us proud. Kia kaha! All the best for the rest of the comp and the Olympics.

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