New Zealand sides scoop silver in Cape Town

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Both teams progressed to the final of the knockout tournament with the Black Ferns Sevens mounting a brave comeback against Australia before falling agonizingly short while the All Blacks Sevens were outclassed by Fiji in the men's final.


Read below for wraps on the semifinals and finals.


Heartbreaker for Black Ferns in Decider


After 13 wins in a row and titles in Russia in 2013 and USA in 2018, Australia have replaced New Zealand as Rugby World Cup Sevens champions with a 24-22 win.


The turning point of the match occurred immediately after halftime when Australia was ahead 12-10 and Niall Williams was yellow carded. Australia scored two tries while New Zealand was reduced to six players.


Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea made a bullying charge and offloaded in traffic to an unmarked Faith Nathan who scored her tournament leading 9th try.


Maddison Levi then alluded Sarah Hirini with her blistering pace on the outside. Levi emulated her feat from the Commonwealth Games semi-final by scoring a hat-trick against New Zealand. She has scored 41 tries in 42 games for Australia.


Down 22-10, it was the Black Ferns reserves who sparked a resurgence. Alena Saili was inspired and busted 40-metres before skidding on her knees and transitioning to fellow replacement Shay Kaka.


Australia were on the receiving end of a 10-2 penalty count and their lack of discipline allowed New Zealand to stretch the game three minutes into overtime. Patient construction eventually saw Saili score handy to close the score to 22-24. Unfortunately, the conversion to draw the game was missed and Australia had the title.


Earlier New Zealand struck first when a quick tap by Kelly Brazier caught Australia napping. Aussie veterans Sharni Williams and Charlotte Caslick were influential and set up tries on the right for Levi.


Brazier turned provider for Stacey Fluhler with the last play of the first half. Tellingly Portia Woodman and Michela Blyde were deprived of space throughout, neither making a clean break. Australia are World Champions for the first time since 2009.

Fiji overpower All Black Sevens in Final


Fiji have won their third World Cup, and first since 2005, with a 29-12 win over the All Blacks Sevens. An inspired first-half saw Fiji score four tries and lead 24-5 at the interval. Despite two yellow cards in the second-spell, Fiji never looked like being overhauled.


Fiji made an ominous beginning when Joseva Teloecia sprinted 60-metres after just 28 seconds for the opening try. More damage was done when brutal tackling saw Kaminieli Rasaku pounce upon a ruck spillage.


New Zealand finally salvaged some possession and stretching to both sidelines allowed Moses Leo to hit a gap. However, Fiji was rampant and a runaway for grinning Elia Canakaivata captured the special character of the Fijians. Canakaivata lost his father and brother in a tragic accident 18 months earlier and was willed by his mother to carry on playing,


New Zealand’s second-half try was scored by Akulia Rokolisoa, proving fleeting hope at 24-12 with four and a half minutes to spare.

 Black Ferns Sevens blitz France in Olympic Final Replay


The Black Ferns thrashed France 38-7 in a polished semi-final performance. When French quarter-final hero Joanna Grisez sprinted 50-metres, responding to a Michaela Blyde 70-metre solo, it seemed set for a classic with the score at 7-7 after three minutes.


However, captain Sarah Hirini soon took ownership and France wilted. A dummy from a scrum by the skipper bamboozled the French defence and set Blyde free for another 50-metre gallop and then Hirini dummied again and charged 40-metres ahead to make it 21-7 at halftime.


The Black Ferns bench didn’t provide France with any respite. Shiray Kaka continued her invaluable contribution with two tries and Jazmin Felix-Hotham with a lightning left foot step left France grasping. Risaleeana Pouri-Lane kicked four conversions.


McGarvey-Black hat-trick foils brave Irish


A Ngarohi McGarvey-Black hat-trick earned the All Black Sevens a place in the final, denying a vastly improved Ireland 17-10.


Tone Ng Shiu was responsible for creating the first two tries for McGarvey-Black. Initially he provided an offload in traffic to the unmarked Rotorua flyer and then a ruthless cleanout left Ireland short.


A minute before halftime a yellow card for Mosses Leo shifted momentum in the Irish direction. Leo tackled an Irish player without the ball and Jack Kelly scored on the right wing.


Ireland levelled the ledger just before Leo returned with an Andrew Smith try in the same corner. the conversion hitting both uprights and missing by a whisker.


With three minutes left Leo had the ball punched from his grasp as he stretched to put it down. From the five-metre scrum New Zealand examined the Irish defence on both sides of the field before McGarvey-Black sprung off his left foot to split the green wall open.


New Zealand was forced to defend for the remainder of time. Sione Mola stole an unprotected ball at the ruck 30-metres shy of the line and ushered it out to terminate proceedings.


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