All Blacks win London 7s

2014-05-12 12:50
DJ Forbes (AFP)

London - New Zealand captain DJ Forbes hailed his side's meticulous preparation after they came from behind to beat Australia 52-33 in the final of the concluding leg of the IRB World Sevens Series in London.

The All Blacks had already been crowned overall champions after qualifying from their pool at Twickenham on Saturday but they were determined to finish on a high in Sunday's Cup final.

But Australia, who dispatched hosts England in the semi-finals, appeared not to have read the script, however, racing into a 21-0 lead in what was coach Michael O'Connor's last match in charge of the Wallaby Sevens side.

But their old rivals hit back in impressive style to score more than 50 points for the second consecutive final - following their 54-7 win over Canada in Glasgow last weekend - as they finished with five tournament victories for the season.

"Close to a 100 points in the final, it was a great spectacle," said Forbes. "To be down 21-0 and then come back and do the job is pretty special.

"It's a pretty good record we have, you see all the flash stuff on the pitch but there's a lot of hard work behind the scenes, on the paddock back home.

"This is the only time you get your rewards, so it's good to finish off the World Series with a bang."

Tom Lucas, Afa Pakalani and Con Foley all scored for Australia before New Zealand had a point on the board.

However, Ben Lam and Scott Curry (two tries) helped the Series champions draw level come half-time.

Gillies Kaka gave New Zealand the lead early in the second half before Foley restored parity at 28-28.

Tim Mikkelson, Lam and Kaka then turned the tide decisively in favour of the All Blacks before team-mate Adam Whitelock completed the scoring with the final play of the game.

O'Connor praised his youthful side, sure to be a threat at the Commonwealth Games Sevens in Glasgow in July, by saying: "They've done me and their country proud. I couldn't have asked for much more.

"New Zealand were just too good, but some of the players are just babies and I do believe they can go to the next level.

"We have seven starting players injured at the moment, we have got good depth. In the next couple of years, Australia can get up there."

England, having missed out on the chance of a first Twickenham win in 15 years, rallied to beat Fiji in the third-place playoff.

Tom Mitchell, the England captain, was one of four try scorers for the hosts in their 26-19 victory as they finished the season fourth overall.

"There has definitely been ups and downs this weekend, we were disappointed with our performance against Australia," he said.

"The boys really turned it around and we put a lot of heart into that last performance against a good Fijian side.

"We are good enough to win tournaments when we play at our best, it is just about playing at a consistently high level throughout tournaments."

Elsewhere, South Africa, who finished second in the overall World Series standings, lifted the plate after overpowering Kenya 38-14 - Seabelo Senatla taking his tally of tries at Twickenham this weekend to 13.

Phil Mack rounded off an impressive comeback for Canada as they beat Argentina 31-19 to win the Bowl final and the United States beat Japan 36-12 in the Shield final.

Read more on:    sevens  |  rugby

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