Sevens core strength: New Zealand profile

(IRB.COM) Friday 18 November 2011
 
 Sevens core strength: New Zealand profile
Gordon Tietjens is the mastermind behind NZ Sevens success

All data and records correct at start of HSBC Sevens World Series 2011/12.

Tournaments: 100
World Series debut: 1999/00 (Series 1) - Dubai
2010/11 Series: Champions

Cup Finals: 60
Cup titles: 41

Played: 568
Won: 491
Lost: 73
Drawn: 4

Pts scored: 17322
Pts conceded: 4938

Highest Score: 78-0 v WALES (2002/03, Wellington)
Widest Margin: 78-0 v WALES (2002/03, Wellington)
Heaviest Defeat: 14-43 v FIJI (2005/06, George)

Coach: Gordon Tietjens
High standards, an impeccable work rate, an eye for talent and a passion for the game are the hallmarks which still set Gordon Tietjens apart from all those looking to emulate his feats in Rugby Sevens coaching. In his 18-year tenure as New Zealand Sevens coach, he has won nine of the 12 World Series titles, a Rugby World Cup Sevens title and all four Commonwealth Games gold medals.

'Titch' sets his stall out in coaching with impeccable fitness standards, which led to him being invited to 'beast' the All Blacks in the run-up to the 2011 Rugby World Cup. However, it is possible that Tietjens is a better scout than he is a coach: during those 18 years he has turned out 37 All Blacks, from the likes of Lomu and Cullen through to the modern day Messam, Jane, Vito and Dagg. He continues to pluck youngsters from relative obscurity and sculpt them into winning Sevens exponents. Also the General Manager of a large engineering firm in New Zealand.

Star watch: Tomasi Cama
Gordon Tietjens is blessed with strong leadership through captain DJ Forbes and chief lieutenant Lote Raikabula, but undeniably his match-winner last season was Cama. The son of the great Fijian of the same name, he was a genuine tournament-winner in 2010/11. Whether in South Africa, where his tactical cleverness in the final and cool penalty drop goal undid England, or in the Hong Kong and Adelaide finals, the half back was the heartbeat of the kiwi effort.

For Sevens genius the little maestro is out on his own and it's only fitting that he should also have surpassed Amasio Valence Raoma as the country's leading Sevens point-scorer last season because the landmark leads quite rightly to comparisons with another playmaker right out of Tietjens' top drawer.

Video: Cama inspires NZ to Hong Kong Sevens 2011