Kiwis add more women’s rugby sevens pain
NEW Zealand have rubbed salt in the wounds of the Australian women's rugby sevens team one week after beating them in the Commonwealth Games final â€" first defeating them in the latest world series tournament in Japan then clinching the title.
The Kiwis overcame an early deficit to beat world series leaders Australia 17-12 in the semi-finals in Kitakyushu on Sunday, which was the same scoreline against the Aussies to claim gold on the Gold Coast.
New Zealand then faced France, who easily accounted for Spain in their semi, and with their finishing power on full display won 24-12 to ensure they defended their title.
Michaela Blyde and Theresa Fitzpatrick scored at opposite ends of the first half but France replied on each occasion, through Camille Grassineau and Montserrat. The second try came while Kiwi back Gayle Broughton was in the sin bin for a professional foul.
Restored to seven players, New Zealand crossed in the closing minutes through speedster Portia Woodman and player of the final Tyla Nathan-Wong. New Zealand closed to within six points of Australia with tournaments remaining in Canada and France.
Australia, who won in Dubai and Sydney, went ahead early in the semi through tries to Evania Pelite and Emma Tonegato but Gayle Broughton scored for the Kiwis just before halftime and Michaela Blyde and Tyla Nathan-Wong added second- half tries.
Australia went on to claim third after beating Spain 19-5.
WORLD SERIES STANDINGS: Australia 56, New Zealand 50, Russia 42, France 40, Canada 32, Spain 32, USA 28.