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‘We're here to win’: Sam Dickson makes history as New Zealand top SVNS pool

By Finn Morton
Sam Dickson of New Zealand scores a try during the 2023 Sydney Sevens match between New Zealand and South Africa at Allianz Stadium on January 29, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

SVNS Series veteran Sam Dickson has etched his name into the history books alongside All Blacks Sevens greats after scoring his 100th try for New Zealand in a decisive win over Great Britain.


The All Blacks Sevens started their campaign in Vancouver with a disappointing loss to arch-rivals South Africa, but they bounced back later on Day One with a victory over SVNS Perth bronze-medallists Ireland.

With it all to play for heading into the second day of play, New Zealand were in control of their own destiny but needed to beat an undefeated Great Britain outfit to ensure they were among the quarter-finalists at BC Place Stadium.

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Dickson, 34, scored New Zealand’s second try early in the first term and completed a historic double later in the fixture as the All Blacks Sevens ran away with a dominant 26-5 victory.

Walking off the field with hundreds of supporters shouting his name, Dickson disappeared from the watchful gaze of supporters with the match ball under his arm.

“I brought up my 100th try. I scored two that game and I’ve been on 98 for a few tournaments so stoked to bring it up,” Dickson told RugbyPass after walking down the tunnel.

“I never thought I’d score 100 tries to be honest. I’ve been more of a donkey and a worker than a try-scorer.


“There’s so many legends of our game that have brought up 100 for the All Blacks Sevens so it’s an honour to do that. Good way to bring it up in a great team effort against GB.”

If there were style points on offer, they would’ve been awarded in Dickon’s favour. The Olympian got the ball near the right touchline and did more than just put the ball down beyond the try line.

Dickson somersaulted into the in-goal while jotting the ball down. It was a fitting, if not a bit risky, way to bring up his century of tries for New Zealand.

“When I was in mid-dive, well firstly I didn’t want to graze myself up,” he explained.

“I tried to think quickly of a different way to so I thought of a little dive, but as soon as I dove, I scored a similar try against (South) Africa a few years ago and landed on my shoulder and got a huge hematoma.


“When I was mid-air I thought, ‘Oh no, stupid idea.’ But I didn’t get hurt.”

New Zealand have booked their place in the SVNS Series quarter-finals for the first time this year after missing out in Perth. With Ireland beating South Africa, the Kiwis have moved on in pole position out of Pool C.

For a team that looked down, but not out, after losing to arch-rivals South Africa on Friday, it was “a tough one” to get their campaign back on track – but they’ve done just that with style.

“We had a real disappointing start against South Africa, we were nowhere near our best,” Dickson said.

“We really needed to regroup against Ireland and obviously last time we played Ireland, they put a real good performance against us in Cape Town so we know they’re a class outfit.


“It was do-or-die against GB. If we lost, we were out. GB had won their last two games, were playing really well so we knew we had to play to our potential and play as a team.

It’s such a confidence game sevens and you can lose your confidence fast,” he added.

“We’ve just got to stick tight and our leaders and our experience really have to step up when we’re under the pump like that, and I felt like we did that that game.

“We’ve got to keep on doing that. We’re here to win the tournament.

“As I said back in Perth, our goal is to win the Olympics… but it doesn’t mean we don’t want to win every time we go out.”


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