New Zealand won both the men’s and women’s HSBC Sydney Sevens at Spotless Stadium to conclude three days of scintillating action.
In the men’s tournament the All Black Sevens went unbeaten through the tournament to record their second tournament victory of the series after previously lifting the Cup in Dubai. They kept their best for last producing a confident and dominant 21-5 victory in the final against the USA.
The win lifts New Zealand to joint first in HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series standings. Sharing top spot is USA who has now finished runner-up in all four series finals. Fiji is third four points behind the joint leaders.
HSBC Player of the Final Dickson said: “I’m just stoked we could win it after a disappointing Hamilton where we lost in the semis. We got them back tonight. We’ve put a lot of emphasis on culture and we pride ourselves on our whole squad, players dig deep and everyone is stepping up when people get injured.”
Earlier in the day the Men’s quarter finals produced some scintillating action with defending HSBC Sydney Sevens champions Australia all set to upset Fiji before the Pacific Islanders scored two tries late in the second half to win 22-17. New Zealand were too strong for France to set up a mouth watering semi-final.
On the other side of the draw USA were convincing in beating Spain 38-10 but England upset reigning series champions South Africa 26-5 to earn their semi-final place.
Fiji’s chances of winning a third consecutive tournament were ruined with a red card in the first half of its semi-final against New Zealand. The Kiwis went on to win comfortably 36-14. USA beat England in the other semi-final to make a fourth consecutive final.
In the Bronze Final England beat Fiji, while South Africa won the fifth place play-off against Australia.
Black Ferns Unstoppable
In the Women’s tournament Australia beat Ireland 24-12 in their semi-final clash and New Zealand beat USA 29-5 to set up the final the Sydney fans wanted. The reigning HSBC Sydney Sevens champions and home town favourites Australia against arch enemy New Zealand, the current series leader.
New Zealand’s Black Ferns proved too strong for Australia in the final winning 34-10 to make it three from three tournament wins in this year’s series. They have also now won the last six tournaments played and are one win shy of equaling their record of 37 straight victories in a row.
“It’s always hard coming up against Australia at home,” said Michaela Blyde, the DHL Impact Player in Sydney. “We knew they were going to come out firing in front of their families and friends, so we just made sure we emptied it out on that field. We’ve come out with the result which is brilliant.
USA won the bronze final beating Ireland, while Canada beat France in the fifth place play-off.
The win extended the Black Ferns lead in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series to 12 points ahead of USA in second, with Canada and Australia in joint third place.