Dubai: New Zealand captain DJ Forbes may have seen the first two tournament titles of the current HSBC Sevens World Series season pass him by, but the fact they’ve reached the final twice that pacifies him.
The All Blacks, who are record 10-times Series winners and current Series holders, lost to Fiji in the final of the Gold Coast in October and Samoa in the final of Dubai on Saturday.
They top the current table on 38 points, six points clear of joint second Kenya, Fiji and Samoa, after their consistency over the first two legs of the nine stage series. But long-term dominance has come at the expense of short-term glamour.
Forbes said: “That’s the beauty of Sevens. On the night it’s the team that gets up for it that wins but in terms of consistency we’re pretty good and that’s what ultimately wins us the World Series.
“We’re still ticking boxes, still getting points in the bag for the World Series title but I would have loved to have won here in Dubai because it’s been a while since we last did that.”
Having last won in Dubai in 2009 against Samoa 24-12, Forbes added of the Samoans’ 26-15 revenge: “We’re pretty disappointed. We played good footy in the semi-final but made a few mistakes and didn’t have the rub of the green in the final. Not many calls went our way and I guess that turned the tide. They started well and I guess they got their tails up — they had momentum and we couldn’t stop them on a roll.
“We always believed we could come back but at the same time that start gave them confidence and took us time to get our rhythm. In footy finals it’s always about a few little mistakes and calls that don’t go your way. That cost us the game.”
Of his Samoan heritage, Forbes, who was turned down by the islander’s 15s before joining New Zealand’s sevens, said: “Half my family will be cheering for Samoa. Going back with a win would have given me bragging rights. It touches close to home every time I play against Samoa. But it’s still a game of rugby and any team we lose against, it’s still disappointing.”