All Blacks Sevens finish fifth in Sydney but retain series lead


New Zealand, who beat Australia in their playoff game 24-7, ended on 76 points , nine points ahead of South Africa, who lost to Fiji 10-12 in the final, Fiji's first win in the Australian leg of the series. France were third on the ladder with 56 points, two ahead of England while Fiji moved to fifth on 53 points.


With the changed format for the Auckland and Sydney tournaments, the All Blacks Sevens needed to finish top of their pool to qualify for the semifinals but their first day loss to Fiji made that all but impossible.


Once Fiji had thrashed Wales 55-0 in their first game on Sunday they were the semifinalists from the pool while New Zealand were left to meet Australia in the playoff for fifth.


Kicking deep from the start of that contest which began in heavy rain, New Zealand applied immediate pressure with Australia producing an error when unable to secure their lineout ball in the in-goal and Sione Molia was able to get the slightest of touches to the ball for the try.



Australia got deep into New Zealand territory but conceded a penalty. The All Blacks opted to take a scrum, which they won and put Regan Ware into space and he raced nearly 75m to score and give New Zealand a 12-0 halftime lead.


Into the second half the All Blacks Sevens held onto the ball for a long period and with the ball slippery in the conditions Scott Curry put a kick through to the left flank and Tone Ng Shiu got hold of the ball and in the tackle fed Dylan Collier in for the try.


Caleb Clarke was introduced and from another scrum Ngarohi McGarvey-Black doubled around Curry and fed Clarke who changed his angle to split the defence and score.


Australia kept trying, playing the ball in their in-goal at one stage before Lachie Anderson got the ball in space to run 80m to score a consolation try, nearly two minutes into injury time.


New Zealand rounded out their pool games with a 19-5 win over Kenya. Salesi Rayasi score the first of the side's three tries, two minutes into the game. Tim Mikkelson crossed after four minutes. Kenya's only points, a try, was scored by Bush Mwale just before halftime to give New Zealand a 12-5 lead at the turn.


Sam Dickson scored the only try of the second half.



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