All Black 7's eye manufactured Series triumph
April 3, 2000
The destiny of the inaugural World Sevens Series title may not be, as widely thought, a foregone conclusion when the sides gather in Paris in May.
After Fiji's triumph in Tokyo last weekend, and a repeat final expected in Paris, then New Zealand would not be able to overhaul their great rivals at the top of the table even if they win the final.
The 20 points available to the winner of the final event would not be enough to secure the title for the All Blacks, if the Fijians finish as ruuners-up.
The seeding for the tournament would keep them apart until the final, unless, as has been mentioned in certain New Zeland circles, the All Blacks 'throw' a pool game.
This would put New Zealand into Fiji's half of the draw and ensure them meeting before the final if results went accordingly.
A victory over them earlier in the competition would condemn Fiji to the Plate where victory would not be enough to stop the Kiwis taking the title if they went on to win the Cup.
It is understood that New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens is fully aware of the situation and will put it before his side and let them decide.
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup
The reopening of the openside debate, a dominant wolf-pack and a sublime performance in defeat - Monday Maul looks at the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship alongside the best photographs from around the domestic game