WELLINGTON • All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams made errors but still celebrated a victorious rugby sevens debut, as New Zealand won the Wellington leg of the World Series tournament on Sunday.
Williams, 30, featured in the All Blacks' World Cup-winning team last year and is hoping to be selected for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where rugby sevens will be making its debut.
Playing as a forward, Williams helped 12-time champions New Zealand come from behind to defeat rivals South Africa 24-21 in Sunday's final to win the third stop of the 10-leg series.
He almost cost the Kiwis the match, first dropping the ball from the opening kick-off and then fumbling an offload to allow the Springboks to surge ahead to a 21-7 lead.
"Just a bit rusty in some areas. Sevens is very fast and tough on the lungs, but I'm enjoying it and I know I got many things to work on," said Williams, who endeared himself to fans when he gave his World Cup winners' medal to a young boy last October.
"It was a massive learning experience for myself and I'm just grateful to be playing for such a talented side. The boys had to push themelves to their limits."
New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens added: "I'm really pleased with Sonny... He's disappointed in a couple of things that he did, but the good thing about Sonny is that he can put that behind him and just look (forward) to the next job. That's why he's so good.
"He's a perfectionist and he'll get it right."
Williams is pencilled in to play for the Kiwis in the Singapore leg of the World Series at the National Stadium from April 16-17. Tickets ranging from $2 to $150 (excluding booking fees) are currently on sale at www.singapore7s.sg