EVEN without their mentor Gordon Tietjens, the New Zealand 7s team remains passionate about winning in Hong Kong this weekend.
Led by veteran playmaker Tomasi Cama, who was barking out orders from the sideline during training, New Zealand remains a force to reckon with at Happy Valley.
And with the guidance of experienced players in DJ Forbes, Lote Raikabula and Tim Mickelson, Cama still rates their chances of winning at So Kon Po Stadium highly since their 2011 triumph.
"We set our standards, we came here to win but saying that it is going to be hard for us," Cama said.
"He (Tietjens) is not with us, we are trying to do things just like when he is here. The boys are training well, we are trying to get over the jetleg."
He said most of the players would be making their debut in Hong Kong on Friday. "We just need to take each game at a time and right now our main priority is to focus on our first game against France."
On Tuesday afternoon, New Zealand had a scrimmaging session with Wales at So Kon Po. Cama said they had a lot to improve on prior to day one of the tournament.