Mon, Feb 04, 2019 - Page 10 News List

New Zealand take Sevens crowns


New Zealand’s Sarah Hirini, left, and Stacy Waaka, right, vie for the ball against Australia in their Rugby Sevens women’s cup final in Sydney yesterday.

Photo: AFP

New Zealand made it a double victory in the Rugby Sevens in Sydney yesterday, winning both the men’s and women’s tournaments to top the overall standings.

The All Blacks Sevens claimed their second title in the fourth leg of the season, comfortably beating the USA 21-5 in the men’s final.

Earlier, the Black Ferns Sevens stamped their dominance in the women’s competition when they beat archrivals Australia 34-10 in the final to extend their record unbeaten run of 48 matches.

The Americans were looking to win their first men’s gold medal this season after three silvers in the first three rounds, but were only able to score one try against the injury-hit Kiwis’ three.

Two tries from Regan Ware and Sam Dickson — later awarded player of the final — took New Zealand to a 14-0 lead at halftime, with Tone Ng Shiu adding a third try just after the break.

The Americans finally got on the scoreboard through Brett Thompson, but they were not able to overcome the deficit as New Zealand comfortably hung on for the victory.

England secured third place after defeating Fiji 19-17.

The All Blacks Sevens’ win means that they are now joint leaders of the World Series standings with the USA on 76 points with six rounds to go.

New Zealand’s women were just as commanding in their final, with the win a sweet revenge after they were crushed 31-0 by the Australians in the Sydney final last year.

Women’s sevens player of the year Michaela Blyde scored a hat-trick, while Stacey Waaka put away two tries.

Australia suffered a blow in the first-half when skipper Sharni Williams was yellow-carded, leaving the Kiwis to take advantage of their superior numbers and go into the break 17-5 after two tries.

Despite the loss, Australia’s women climbed to joint-third on the overall standings behind New Zealand, the USA and Canada.

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