New Zealand win their second title of the season after beating Australia 17-7 in the final of the HSBC Cape Town Sevens 2019 in South Africa.
The Black Ferns Sevens were crowned the inaugural HSBC Cape Town Sevens champions after beating long-time rivals Australia 17-7 in the final on Sunday.
The success, their 24th in 40 events since the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series began in 2012-13, follows hot on the heels of another historic victory in Dubai last weekend, when New Zealand became the first to win back-to-back titles in the desert.
New Zealand had not been at their best in the tournament, stuttering past Fiji and Russia in the pool stages and needing sudden-death extra-time to beat England in quarter-finals, but found the performances when they needed to overcome Canada and then Australia to win an inaugural event in a country for the sixth time out of 11.
The series champions had made the better start to the 16th Cup final meeting between the two most successful women’s teams, Kelly Brazier stepping her way through the Australia defence to score the opening try and pass through the 500-point milestone in the process.
Shannon Parry was then adjudged to have knocked on rather than blocked a Brazier kick and New Zealand capitalised, a strong run by Alena Saili creating the opportunity for World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year 2019 Ruby Tui to score their second try for a 12-0 half-time lead.
Australia, without a title since their record-breaking victory in Sydney in 2018, got back into the game within 40 seconds of play resuming, Ellia Green skipping past the diving Niall Williams to sprint away for her 130th series try, quickly adding the conversion herself to get her side back in the game.
The Olympic champions began to build some pressure but couldn’t find a way through and instead New Zealand wrapped up victory when HSBC Player of the Final Tui handed off Cassie Staples to score her second try.
Black Ferns Sevens captain Tyla Nathan-Wong, playing her record 27th Cup final on the series,
“This crowd, this atmosphere, it’s incredible to be here in Cape Town for the very first time as a women’s team. To play South Africa, especially, in the very first game, it’s just amazing.
“I’m so proud of these girls. We didn’t start the tournament how we wanted to but we finished it doing what we wanted to do. These last two weeks have just been everything, the girls have worked so hard and we pulled through in the end.”
New Zealand sit top of the standings after three of the eight rounds with 56 points, six more than Australia with USA third on 48 points after finishing fifth in Cape Town.
Canada are in fourth, with 44 points, after beating fifth placed France in sudden-death extra-time to win the bronze medal and avenge their loss in the Pool B decider the day before.