Sevens

All Black magic as NZ retain RWC Sevens crown

2018-07-23 06:33
Scott Curry (Getty)

San Francisco - New Zealand became the first team in history to win back-to-back World Cup Sevens crowns here on Sunday, defeating England 33-12 in the final at AT&T Park.

The New Zealanders, who had won the last tournament in 2013 in Moscow, had too much class for England on their way to a deserved win, outscoring their opponents by five tries to two.

The victory completed a golden weekend in San Francisco for New Zealand after their women successfully defended their own sevens title on Saturday.

New Zealand's men and women's teams now hold world titles in both seven-a-side and 15-a-side versions of the game.

The New Zealanders, who had earlier stunned Olympic champions Fiji to reach the final, took the lead in the opening minute, when Sione Molia burst through weak English tackling to score under the posts.

Molia then grabbed a second try moments later, burrowing over from close range to cap a dominant start by the New Zealanders.

England hit back though on the stroke of half-time when Mike Ellery found space inside the 22 from Dan Norton's pass for a converted score which made it 14-7 at the break.

New Zealand were soon threatening again after the restart and Joe Ravouvou took the into a 19-7 lead when he easily beat Norton on the outside for a try in the corner.

Ruaridh McConnochie gave England hope of a fightback after dotting down in the corner following Harry Glover's break.

But New Zealand upped the tempo and finished off with two more tries from Akuila Rokolisoa and Traell Joass to secure New Zealand's third outright victory in the tournament.

The New Zealanders had earlier reached the final after a clinical 22-17 defeat of Olympic champions Fiji in the semi-finals.

Joe Ravouvou scored twice for the New Zealanders as Fiji struggled to compete with the physical threat of the champions at the breakdown.

Although Fiji scored tries through Semi Radradra and Amenoni Nasilasila to lead at half-time, New Zealand raised their game in the second half to advance to the final.

England meanwhile had reached the final after a surprisingly one-sided 29-7 win over South Africa in the last four.

South Africa, the reigning world sevens series champions, took an early lead when playmaker Selvyn Davids dived over in the corner for a converted score.

But England hit back with tries from Harry Glover, Tom Mitchell, Ruaridh McConnochie, Oliver Lindsay-Hague and Dan Norton to secure their place in the final.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Samoa's campaign ended in disgrace with player Gordon Langkilde thrown out of the tournament for his part in a tunnel bust-up following Saturday's defeat to Wales.

Wales player Tom Williams suffered a tournament-ending injury in the attack which Welsh players described as "unprovoked."

World Rugby said in a statement they were investigating the incident.

Read more on:    england  |  new zealand  |  sevens  |  scott curry  |  sione molia  |  rugby
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