New Zealand win final of Glasgow Sevens
New Zealand have strengthened their grip on yet another sevens rugby world series crown with victory at the penultimate round in Glasgow.
Gordon Tietjens' men scored a convincing 29-14 win over England in the final of the Glasgow sevens this morning (NZT) to claim their third title from eight outings this season and all but secure the overall title.
The nine-tournament series concludes in London next weekend and the equation is simple for the Kiwis - all they need to do is finish in the top six and the title is theirs.
Fail to do so, and they'll have to rely on someone beating Fiji.
New Zealand have 150 points while Fiji are second on 139.
The most Fiji can finish on is 161, with 22 points for a tournament victory, while New Zealand would get the required 12 further points from finishing sixth (that's making the plate final) in London.
So far this season, they've only failed to finish outside the top three once, when they were knocked out of the quarterfinals at the Dubai sevens last December.
''We've been in situations where we've come in and needed to leave a few things to fate, but this time it's only ours to lose, really, so I guess for us it's a matter of enjoying tonight and come next week, start again from ground zero,'' said New Zealand captain DJ Forbes, who celebrated his 50th tournament in style with two tries in the final, including one after the final buzzer.
''Ultimately it was all about the 12 players. We all wanted to win, regardless of whether it was my 50th or not. I think everyone knows we're here for the world series, not my 50th.
''You could potentially say we've got one hand on the trophy at the moment but we've still got to do a job next week.''
New Zealand were always in control of the final in Glasgow, eventually running away with a five tries to two victory after leading 12-7 at halftime.
Tim Mikkelson and captain DJ Forbes scored first half tries, sandwiching England's lone score through James Rodwell, before stepping it up a notch after the break through tries to Ardie Savea and Lote Raikabula, after Dan Norton had closed the gap for the English. A late try to Forbes sealed the deal.
New Zealand had earlier swept aside Argentina 36-5 in the quarterfinals and Australia 22-7 in the semifinals, while England knocked out Fiji in the semis with a 26-22 victory.
Fiji eased past Australia 31-17 in the playoff for third to clinch two valuable extra points.
''It's Lote's 50th next week so there's a little bit to play for there,'' added Forbes.
''We never take anything for granted. It's just a blessing to be playing rugby.''
Glasgow sevens final: New Zealand 29 (DJ Forbes 2, Tim Mikkelson, Ardie Savea, Lote Raikabula tries; Tomasi Cama 2 con) England 14 (James Rodwell, Dan Norton tries; Tom Mitchell 2 con). Halftime: 12-7.
Overall standings with one round to play:
New Zealand 150, Fiji 139, England 123, South Africa 115, Samoa 114, Australia 99, Wales 83, Argentina 77.