Double bronze for New Zealand Sevens sides in Birmingham

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The Black Ferns Sevens beat Canada 19-12 in their only game of the day, while the All Blacks Sevens beat Australia 26-12 after losing 14-19 to Fiji in an extra-time semifinal after they finished regular time tied at 14-14.

 

All Blacks Sevens captain Sam Dickson said it had been a couple of tough hours on the final day, but he was proud of how the side came out and pulled themselves together against a good Australian team.

 

He praised the team management for getting them back up and fizzing again after the semifinal loss to play the bronze medal match so well.

 

The first hour after their semifinal loss, they had sat in the changing room feeling the hurt, but that pain had to be used as fuel for the future, he said.

 

They went back to the village to 'chill out and regather our thoughts and recover and try to have a nap', but Dickson said his mind was full of thoughts about what else they might have done differently.

 

 

"Obviously it's not the gold we wanted starting off here but that's the way Sevens goes and we're so stoked to get the bronze medal," he said.

 

"We've been away for a long time, there's been a lot of hard work and sacrifice put into this. We've got a couple more nights here in Birmingham so we'll enjoy ourselves."

 

In their semifinal they were up 14-7 at halftime after a try to Regan Ware and a penalty try. But after the halftime hooter had sounded, they looked to add to their score with a midfield move. However, they conceded a try after an intercept when Fiji were playing with six men.

 

But in the second half, Fiji pressured the New Zealanders, and with fulltime due, a knock on by Tone Ng Shiu was followed by an attempted intercept by Akuila Rokolisoa that saw him yellow-carded. Leroy Carter was then sin-binned for a late tackle, and New Zealand had to play out time with five men.

 

Still down on players they went into extra time. But after a long New Zealand kick-off, Fiji secured the ball and ran the ball back to claim the win.

 

New Zealand started best in the playoff game against Australia, Leroy Carter securing loose ball 30 metres out from the New Zealand line and racing to score the first try. Josh Turner responded when beating two Kiwis to score under the posts.

 

Joe Webber shut down a prospective Australian try-scoring chance and then, in the following play, put Moses Leo into space for a 60-metre run to the line.

 

 

Turning up 14-7, New Zealand were pinned in their own territory when a poor pass on their 22m line bounced for Leo, and he cleared out for a 70-metre run to score.

 

From a set play in Australian territory, stand-off Carter hit the ball at speed and burst through two goal-line defenders to give New Zealand the comfort of a 26-7 lead.

 

Henry Patterson scored with a superb dive in the corner to pull back a try for Australia, but it wasn't enough to deny New Zealand.

 

South Africa beat Fiji 31-7 to claim the men's gold medal. 

 

In the women's bronze medal game, Canada made an undisciplined start, handing New Zealand three consecutive penalties and suffering a yellow card.

 

Michaela Blyde needed no second invitation to score the first try. A tap penalty in the Canada 22m resulted in Kelly Brazier adding another try to secure a 12-0 halftime lead.

 

Canada kept New Zealand out until midway through the second half when Alena Saili produced what proved a vital match-winning individual burst from 60m out to extend the lead.

 

Canada had the final say with two late tries, but New Zealand held on for the 19-12 win. Australia beat Fiji 22-12 for the women's gold.

 

 

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