Dubai: USA coach Michael Friday was left ruing a lost opportunity of upsetting the mighty All Blacks Sevens in the final of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens at The Sevens Stadium on Saturday.

“That’s the nature of the game. We played to the setpiece so that we could take one of them out but they boxed very clever and we couldn’t get past that sort of defence,” Friday reflected as the USA went down 5-21 to the All Blacks Sevens.

“At crucial times, they slowed it down even more and that’s their smartness. That’s the Kiwi way. All credit to their team. There are a lot of young guys in that team and they were willing to put their hands up when it mattered most. You expect their rugby IQ to be high and that’s what it was all about. They took their opportunities when they came,” he added.

Friday felt his side had the opportunity during the 14 minutes on the pitch, especially after Luke Masirewa’s sin bin leaving New Zealand reduced to six. “That’s what the world series comes down to. It is what it is. You never win a silver, you lose gold. I am never happy,” Friday said.

“Of course, this is the best showing from us as we are not renowned as the stars of rugby. So to get off to a good start is very important especially because we normally don’t do very well in the opening two rounds. So that’s a huge improvement. We have done reasonably well here. We need to learn again and get back on the horse by Tuesday or Wednesday so that we can back things up for next week. It’s a decent start to our Olympic qualifying,” Friday added.