New Zealand claim Wellington sevens title

02:31, Feb 13 2014
Wellington Sevens 2014
Sherwin Stowers dives in to score for the All Black Sevens.
Wellington Sevens 2014
Argentina's Anibal Panceyra Garrido takes on the USA defence.
Wellington Sevens 2014
Rhodri Davies of Wales makes a break against South Africa.
Wellington Sevens 2014
New Zealand's Ben Lam rides the tackle of a Fijian defender.
Wellington Sevens 2014
Emosi Mulevoro of Fiji dives over to score a try against New Zealand.
Wellington Sevens 2014
Kelly Meafua of Samoa scores tackled by Kenya's Biko Adema.
Wellington Sevens 2014
James Johnstone of Scotland runs in to score with Canada's Nanyak Dala in pursuit.
Wellington Sevens 2014
Head coach Simon Amor of England looks on during the Pool A match between England and Portugal.
New Zealand sevens
Burst of flames fire off behind the victorious New Zealand sevens team in Wellington.
New Zealand sevens
The New Zealand sevens team celebrate in the changing rooms after their Wellington Sevens final victory over South Africa.
New Zealand sevens
The victorious New Zealand sevens team perform a haka for the Wellington crowd.
DJ Forbes
New Zealand captain DJ Forbes with the Wellington Sevens trophy.
DJ Forbes
New Zealand captain DJ Forbes celebrates with the fans at Wellington Stadium.
Ben Lam
New Zealand's Ben Lam crosses next to the posts during the semifinal against England.
Sherwin Stowers
Sherwin Stowers has a disagreement with two England players during their semifinal.

Of all the tries scored New Zealand's seventh Wellington sevens title will be remembered for the stinginess of their defence.

Gordon Tietjens' side ripped the IRB World Series lead from South Africa's grasp with a 21-0 win during a final that said as much about their pride as it did their skill.

After five successive losses to South Africa dating back to 2012, captain DJ Forbes and his men had clearly had enough.

Big forward Bryce Heem was the unsung hero of the final providing the off load for Tim Mikkelson's opening try and laying on Sherwin Stowers' second try before halftime.

At 21-0 it was New Zealand's title to lose.

South Africa, like Canada in the quarterfinal and England in the semifinals, must have been wondering if it was even possible to score a point against this Kiwi team.

New Zealand scored more tries than any other side at the tournament, with Stowers grabbing eight in total, but it was their tackling which stood head and shoulders above their rivals.

The home side's for and against since losing to Fiji in their opening pool match on Friday read 157-0 leading into the final after they blanked Canada 24-0, then defending champions England 31-0 to reach their ninth Wellington final.

By the time teenager Akira Ioane bundled Jamba Ulengo out in the corner in the dying stages of the final New Zealand had posted 178 points and 0 against. It will stand as sevens version of The Great Wall.

The crowd had partied hard all weekend, but they acknowledged the feat with a "D-Fence" chant echoing out of the horde of superheroes and fairy book characters in the stands.

Once again Tietjens was the master of tactics on a wet night.

New Zealand cleverly kicked and chased through the knock out stages in order to take the wet weather out of play and continued to do so early in the final.

Heem, as he had all tournament, provided a half break. He created the first try, turning the ball inside to Tim Mikkelson who raced 60 metres to score under the posts.

The crowd went wild when Stowers stepped through for the second try and a 14-0 lead and into raptures when he grabbed his second.

Tietjens also correctly backed Gillies Kaka to run the show at playmaker ahead of Tomasi Cama. Kaka responded with a coming of age performance.

Heem, Scott Curry and Forbes were all superb work horses, while Ben Lam got better with every outing and New Zealand's bench played a vital role including Ioane, whose future looks as big as the fend on the end of his lanky arms.

Ioane eased his way into the international arena in pleasing fashion. He scored a late try on day one, and then tasted big time sevens against Canada, before scoring the final try against England in a semifinal played in front of 30,000-plus.

He may be a trump card by the time he has played out the remaining four rounds of the World Series in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Scotland and England and on to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

High energy youngsters Ambrose Curtis and George Tilsley also added plenty throughout.

The win means New Zealand lead the series after relinquishing their lead to South Africa in Las Vegas when they lost a second successive final to the Blitzbokke.

South Africa were playing in their fourth straight final and going for their third straight tournament victory in the current series, but couldn't unlock New Zealand's defence.

South Africa had earlier advanced to the final with a 10-0 semifinal win over Fiji, a scoreless second half symptomatic of the wet conditions.

Fiji gained some consolation with a 14-7 win over England in the playoff for third.

Final: New Zealand 21 (Sherwin Stowers 2, Bryce Heem tries, Gillies Kaka 3 cons) South Africa 0. HT: 21-0. 

Semifinal: New Zealand 31 (Sherwin Stowers, Scott Curry, Ben Lam, Bryce Heem, Akira Ioane tries, Kaka 3 cons) England 0. HT: 19-0. 

Wellington sevens parade
Batucada dancers take to Lambton Quay.
Wellington sevens parade
The New Zealand sevens team relaxes ahead of the parade.
Wellington sevens parade
Samoan dancers pose for a photo.
7s heroes
City Fitness superheroes
canada
The Canadian team soaks up the atmosphere in Wellington.
fijin
Dancers bring some Fijian flavour to proceedings ... along with international man of mystery, Austin Powers
Wellington sevens parade
A dancer joins the party.
kenya
Perennial crowd favourites Kenya hit town during the parade.
Wellington sevens parade
Can can dancers add some flourish to proceedings.
Wellington sevens parade
And here comes the brass.
Wellington sevens parade
Samoan dancers celebrate.
Wellington sevens parade
DJ Forbes gives an interview during the parade.
Wellington sevens parade
The Portuguese team looking orderly and ready for action.
Wellington sevens parade
The English team enjoying themselves.
Wellington sevens parade
The Canadian team gets into the party atmosphere.
Wellington sevens parade
Crowds of people line the streets to see the parade.

Quarterfinal:New Zealand 24 (Scott Curry 2, Gillies Kaka, George Tilsley tries, Kaka con, Tomasi Cama con) Canada 0. HT:12-0. 

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Wellington Sevens
The "Jarmy Army", from left, Dean Holland, Dene Cassin, Herb Bell and Jeff Geayley warm up for the sevens on the Wellington waterfront.
Wellington Sevens
Punters, from left, Paul Garrett, Jesse Garrett, Brian Martelletti, Marcus Garrett, Shane Hamnett and Randy Toone, plan to arrive at the Sevens on horseback.
Wellington Sevens
Back row from left, Robert Makene, Steve Burgess, Christine Paul, and front row from left Sapphire Martin and Maree Cheshire get ready to go.
Wellington Sevens
Ultimate sevens fan Waitangi Mika, centre, and the Doctours are ready for action.
Sevens pirates
Punters start their warm-up for the sevens. Pirates, from Auckland, from left, Caznae Raynes, Ashleigh Robinson, Connor Robinson, Carol Robinson and Phil Raynes.
Sevens
Bo Simkin, left, and Claire parkinson both from Eastbourne as super heroes.
Sevens
Grom left, Phil Watson, Colin Thackery, and Chris Hadley dress as the cast of The Hangover.
Sevens Bowman
Punters start their warm-up for the sevens. From left. Sarah Bowman, Sam Wallace and James L'estrange
Seven TMNT
Teenage Mutant Turtles Quinn Robb and Stefan Godman on Willis Street.
Sevens Tui cans
Sevens waterfront. Punters start their warm-up for the sevens. From left, Pete rathod, matt Lewis, hami Phillips, Andrew Cameron as Tui cans.
Wellington Sevens
Kurt Umbers and Hemi Hoskins are dressed as pop group LMFAO.
Wellington Sevens
Judy Brokenshire, Lyn Weir, Dale Thompson and Tracey Hall have been coming to the sevens for 14 years and counting.
Wellington Sevens
Cory Heather and James Scott as that perennial Sevens favourite, Speedo Cops.
Wellington Sevens
These guys escaped from jail just to join the celebrations.
Wellington Sevens
This group of lords and ladies seem dressed for a different kind of party altogether.
Wellington Sevens
Amy Brookes and Ben Fox were actually pretty easy to spot in their Where's Wally? costumes.
Wellington Sevens
Tongan Native Americans.
7s rocket man
Stan Asimopoulos as Mr Squiggish, the man from the Moon
7s crayfish
Punters dressed up at crayfish start their warm-up for the Sevens.
7s bananas
Banana in Pajamas get ready for the Sevens.
7s parkin
Costume catwalk founder Chris Parkin gets into the spirit of things.
7s peacocks
Peacocks Rosie Masters and Lizana Muir.
Wellington Sevens
The Canadians: Shea Martinm, Meredith Barrett-Jones, Arielle Martin and Briana Hungerford.
Wellington Sevens
Beauty queens Katie O'Loughlan, left, Stacey Craig, Ashleigh McCutcheon and Rachel Watson.
Wellington Sevens
Mad hatters Clint and Teresa McKenzie.
Wellington Sevens
Monopoly women Nicola Taylor, left, Helena Quinn, Jan Grindle and Chantal Fuhl.
Wellington Sevens
Norman Hemi, front, leads his wolf pack.
Wellington Sevens
Jamaican bob sled team Ryan Walker, Mike Barnett, Mitch Steele and Blair Williams.
Wellington Sevens
A gaggle of Billy T James'.
Wellington Sevens
A Christchurch Hangover 'wolfpack'.
Wellington Sevens
Hamilton cavemen and cavewomen.
Wellington Sevens
Wellington's Abigail Moir and Johnny Crothers as Ken and Barbie.
Wellington Sevens
Kevin Banaghan and 'gorilla'.
Wellington Sevens
Smudge McNeilage and the paua women.
Wellington Sevens
Minions from Auckland, Sophie Cameron, Morgan Smith and Larissa Pedersen.
Wellington Sevens
Scots Andre Hoggard, Caitlin Williams, Paige Kenning and Kit Bradley.
Wellington Sevens
Dennis Watling comes to the Sevens each year - for the rugby - and was prepared for the rain.
Wellington Sevens
A belly dancer is escorted out of Westpac Stadium.
Wellington Sevens
Richie Benaud fans Henry Cameron, left, Richie Ball and Choi Jackson.
Wellington Sevens
These fans got especially pixellated for the occasion.
Wellington Sevens
Phil Tanuvasa is resplendent in his clone outfit.
Wellington Sevens
A gaggle of birds about to enter the stadium on day two.
Wellington Sevens
Penguins were comfortable in the cool conditions on day two.
Wellington Sevens
Caryn de Horatrus and Kevin Marshall.
Wellington Sevens costumes 2014: day two
Fans enjoy the atmosphere during day two.
Sevens costumes day two
The Carousals, (from left) Steph Murray, Victoria Wallace, Emma Hickey and Kate Kelly.
Sevens costumes day two
Fans soak up the atmosphere on day two.
Sevens costumes day two
The Kinder Surprises: Anna Zobel, left, Wiebke Liebich and Laura Benecke.
Sevens costumes day two
Fans dressed as the grumpy old men from the The Muppets.

Wellington