Moscow - New Zealand swept the men and women's titles at the Rugby World Cup
Sevens on Sunday, mixing superior tactical nous with hard-nosed defence
and fleet-footed attack.
Gordon Tietjens' All Blacks team have
dominated the IRB World Series Sevens, winning 11 of the 14 men's titles
on offer, but last won the World Cup in 2001.
However, they put
England to the sword in the final at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, running
in five tries to none as they took advantage of the tactically poor
English kicking game in wet, muddy conditions.
Tim Mikkelson (2),
Gillies Kaka, veteran playmaker Tomasi Cama and replacement Waisake
Naholo all crossed the whitewash, Cama bagging three conversions and
Kaka a fourth.
England were underpowered in the face of an
aggressive All Black team happy to slow the game down and play for
Ben Ryan's team were pushed into resorting
to a deep kicking game that played exactly into New Zealand hands.
Rarely for the abbreviated game, there was a full minute of aerial
ping-pong, which drew boos and jeers from the crowd.
women's team had earlier beaten Canada 29-12 and the results mean that
New Zealand are now world champions in rugby 7s and 15s in both sexes.
All Blacks scrapped past Fiji 17-0 in the semi-final, where play was
held up for an hour because of a thunder storm over the Luzhniki
While the claps of thunder and bolts of lightning
subsided, the rain did not, continuing to teem through the whole finals
England beat Kenya 12-5 in the second semi-final,
played in similarly atrocious conditions, a try-saving tackle from Dan
Norton the difference in a game also dominated by kicking.
Blacks had despatched Wales, unlikely outsiders who clinched victory in
Dubai four years ago against odds of 80/1, in the quarter-finals.
wasn't meant to be," said Wales captain Lee Williams, the sole survivor
from the squad that won in 2009. "Utterly disappointing that game was
there for us, but errors cost us."
Fiji had produced a display of
extremely aggressive defence to batter South Africa, who had not
conceded a point in pool play, into a 12-10 defeat at the same stage.
the women's competition, New Zealand outplayed Canada in the Cup final,
defending champions Australia having paid the price for an injury to
key playmaker Tiana Penitani in suffering a shock 14-10 defeat by Spain
in the quarter-final.
The All Blacks won 29-12 thanks to tries
from Portia Woodman (2), Kelly Brazier, Honey Hireme and Kayla
McAlister, Canada responding through Ghislaine Landry and Arielle
"We have worked really hard on our defence and
we have played in this kind of weather so it was no problem," Woodman
said. "Canada threw stuff at us that we never expected but we coped
really well and it's amazing."