‘We thrive on that’: All Blacks Sevens grind out tough win in Dubai
Much like their countrywomen earlier on Saturday morning, the All Blacks Sevens had to do it the hard way as the defending world champions opened their new SVNS season with a thrilling win.
Josiah Morra, Jake Thiel and Matt Oworu all crossed for decisive scores as the North American underdogs mounted a genuine challenge against their more fancied opponents.
But when the going got tough, the All Blacks Sevens delivered under pressure with Curry and Fehi Fineanganofo scoring a try each inside the final two minutes.
That completed a memorable comeback for the New Zealanders who registered a hard-earned 26-21 victory to kick off their 2023/24 SVNS campaign.
“Yeah it was tough. It was tit for tat… it was back and forth the whole game really, we had to grind it out,” Scott Curry told RugbyPass. “Proud of our fight till the end.
“Canada are a good side, we’ve got to respect them and the work that they did. We probably didn’t execute well on attack.
“When you can’t hold onto that ball for long phases and you turn it over then you’re stuck on D for a while.”
Playing in the esteemed black jersey is an honour like no other in New Zealand. It’s the opportunity to represent a nation that expects excellence, and there’s plenty of pressure that comes with that.
Both the New Zealand men’s and women’s teams enter the new SVNS season as defending world champions, but their successes and history-making campaigns and in the past now.
With a new season underway, the All Blacks Sevens might just be the team to beat on the men’s side of the draw as the other 11 teams fight to experience the feeling of what it means to be on top of the rugby SVNS world.
“There’s always pressure when you put the jersey. It’s a pressure that we put on ourselves and the New Zealand public expects us to win,” Curry added.
“There is pressure all the time and we thrive on that, we love that. We love those moments when we’re down with a minute to go (and) we’ve got to find a way.
“We always embrace it. Everyone’s coming for everyone. 12 teams on the circuit now.
“There’s no easy games anymore and to make those quarterfinals is going to be tough every weekend.
“We’ll use the old cliché, we’ll take it one step at a time.”