Home > Sport
Sunday July 20, 2014 MYT 6:33:00 PM
Sunday July 20, 2014 MYT 9:25:08 PM
GLASGOW: The all-conquering All Blacks fear no one as they set their sights on a high five in the rugby Sevens competition of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The Kiwis are gunning for a record fifth consecutive gold at the Games since the sport was introduced at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games.
They are clearly the team to beat, having won 12 of the 15 IRB Sevens World Series since 2000.
No wonder the All Blacks say “we fear only ourselves” as they prepare for the Games competition at the Ibrox Stadium on July 26-27.
“We have been training throughout the year … and been featuring in the Sevens World Series since the beginning of the year,” said winger Tim Mikkelson, who has represented the All Blacks Sevens since 2008.
“Our only concern is how well we can perform at the Games. Our chances of retaining the gold will depend on our team work.”
Mikkelson, who will turn 28 on Aug 13, is one of the world’s best Sevens player. He has scored over 100 career tries for New Zealand in the Sevens World Series.
Mikkelson, who plays for Waikato club in New Zealand, even won the IRB Sevens Player of the Year award for the 2012 season.
There will be 16 teams in action at the Games and New Zealand are in Group A with Canada, Barbados and Scotland.
Group B comprises South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Kenya and Cook Islands.
Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Wales and Malaysia are in Group C while Australia, England, Uganda and Sri Lanka make up Group D.
Besides Mikkelson, the All Blacks team are packed with experienced players as well – like captain DJ Forbes and Sherwin Stowers from the team who overcame Australia in the New Delhi Games four years ago.
Mikkelson does not expect the All Blacks to have any problems in the group stage.
Instead, he has warned his team-mates to be wary of Australia and South Africa, who will pose a huge threat to them in the knockout stages.
“I hope we can continue our winning streak in the Games,” said Mikkelson.
All Blacks to play first test in Samoa next July
All Blacks desire to attack, and defend, earns praise from coach
Savea brace for All Blacks in tight win over Pumas
Losing might be good for all-conquering All Blacks - Henry
Luatua works though the pain for All Blacks redemption
Armitage could end England exile with move home - reports
Hooper clarifies Beale comments as Wallabies circle wagons
Australia's woes of no interest to determined McCaw
McKenzie walks on Wallabies after Beale row indignities
Cooper recalled, Genia ignored for All Blacks clash
Carter, Sonny Bill named in All Blacks tour squad
Brawn and Domenicali on Bianchi accident panel
Paying homage to Hindu deities and attaining bliss on pilgrimages
UKIP, 5-Star welcome Polish radical to save EU voting bloc
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)