Text, Picture and Video: World Rugby
New Zealand beat USA 21-5 to win the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Sydney and move top of the overall standings after four events.
The All Blacks Sevens were ruthless throughout the final, striking first and refusing to let go. Vilimoni Koroi played an effortlessly magical offload to Regan Ware on the left wing and his side took the lead.
After his side displayed some resolute defending, Sam Dickson doubled the lead on the stroke of half time, New Zealand capitalising on a collision between the USA’s Folau Niua and Danny Barrett.
Tone Ng Shiu put the result out of reach with a stunning dummy, selling Barrett to run clear. Brett Thompson gave his USA side hope with a score of his own, but it was too little, too late, and New Zealand claimed the trophy.
The USA have now lost all four finals this season but are level on points with New Zealand at the top of the overall standings. This is New Zealand’s second win of the season after their triumph in Dubai in November.
England Take Bronze
England finished third for the first time this season after beating Fiji 19-17, with Apenisa Cakaubalavu scoring a hat-trick in vain. Fiji trailed 19-0 when Cakaubalavu’s quickfire double made for a nervy finish, but his third score came after the full-time hooter.
Fifth for South Africa
South Africa beat Australia 12-10 in a brutal rematch of the Pool D match to finish fifth in Sydney. It was an aggressive game throughout, with plenty of full-blooded tackles, but it was won in the final seconds by Kyle Brown, dotting down in the corner.
Argentina lift Challenge Trophy
Argentina made up for their disappointment at missing out on the Cup quarter-finals by beating Japan 10-7 in the Challenge Trophy final.
Luciano Gonzalez opened the scoring before Katsuyuki Sakai’s converted try gave Japan the lead. Santiago Alvarez’s yellow card did little to open up Argentina, with him returning after the break and the Pumas hitting next to win the game. Fernando Luna dotted down in the corner to complete the victory.
New Zealand have won six tournaments in a row for the second time in HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series history after a Michaela Blyde hat-trick inspired them to a 34-10 defeat of hosts Australia in the HSBC Sydney Sevens 2019 final at Spotless Stadium on Sunday.
Twelve months ago New Zealand had left Sydney licking their wounds after they were whitewashed 31-0 by Australia in the final, a defeat that proved the catalyst for their dominance since which has seen them claim six Cup titles on the series, an historic Commonwealth Games gold medal and complete a successful defence of their Rugby World Cup Sevens crown.
The 14th Cup final between the two most successful teams in women's sevens history was their first meeting of the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series 2019. The outcome, though, would be the same as their last encounter, in the title decider of the HSBC Paris Sevens last year – a New Zealand victory.