Tietjens: Injuries not an excuse
OLYMPIC SEVENS: New Zealand Seven coach Gordon Tietjens is not using injuries as an excuse for his team's poor performances at the Olympic Sevens in Rio De Janeiro.
Tietjens suffered the biggest disappointment of his illustrious coaching career when New Zealand lost 7-12 to Fiji in their Olympics quarterfinal on Wednesday.
New Zealand also suffered losses to Japan and Great Britain in the pool stages.
New Zealand's captain Scott Curry was unable to play in the final pool match and the quarterfinal as a result of an injury he picked up on Day One - the same day that saw Joe Webber and Sonny Bill Williams being ruled out of the competition.
"Fiji played very well, no excuses - they deserve to win," said Tietjens, who thinks Fiji will play South Africa in the gold medal match.
"We need to review the way we played the game and find out what went wrong.
"We gave our all, but it didn't work out. We lost some of our key players, but we are not using that as an excuse.
"We dominated the game for many years, but now other countries are specialising in Sevens.
"The game is growing, now Fiji is one of the top teams. The competition is tough - we will see what can we do better, we in the learning curve, it's our first Olympics.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said he was disappointed for the side.
"They went there with a lot of ambition and desire to win the thing," Hansen said
"They've worked extremely hard and to have had all the injuries they've had I guess they'll look at that and want to know why and they'll rue their performance against Japan.
"You've only got to look at some of the other events at the Olympics.
"It's been disappointing for a whole lot of countries at times. It looked like we were going to get a gold medal in the equestrian and that got taken away so that's just the nature of the sport. Sometimes it doesn't roll the way you want it to roll and you've just got to man up, take it on the chin and go away and work a little bit harder the next time."
The manner of selection for the side would be discussed in a review and Hansen said it was important not to paper over things.
"We'd all like to have all our great players at the Olympics, and win the gold medal, but that's not guaranteed either," he said.
"There's no doubt these young men and Titch [coach Sir Gordon Tietjens] and his crew worked their butts off to try and win this medal and we've just got to accept as a nation that we weren't good enough to win it this time and we'll do whatever we can to try and win the next time."