Gold double for New Zealand

Posted April 16, 2018

Both teams set up semi-finals against England, played earlier today, with the women winning 26-5 and the men 17-12, setting up Finals against Olympic champions Australia and Fiji.

The New Zealand men's and women's sevens teams have claimed gold at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

With only the pool winners to progress to the knockout stages and remain in contention for a medal there was no room for complacency with every match a must-win encounter.

Abigail Brown's side bounced back in style in the bronze medal match against Canada, earning a 19-5 half-time lead as tries from Lydia Thompson, Debbie Fleming and Claire Allan proved just enough to hold off a late charge and triumph 24-19.

Fiji, who won last week's Hong Kong sevens, were bidding for their first Commonwealth gold after taking silver behind New Zealand in the inaugural sevens in 1998 and again in 2002. Two exceptional finals capped a superb tournament of firsts - the first women's competition and Jamaica and Zambia making their debuts in the men's event.

As it was 18-months ago, the two best Sevens sides in the world squared-off in the decider, with New Zealand scoring a long-range try in the first-half of extra-time for the win.

Australia had lost co-captain Sharni Williams to injury in their win over England, but roared on by the near capacity crowd the hosts opened the scoring when the quick feet of Emma Tonegato allowed her to dart through the Fiji defence in the first minute.

The second half was barely 30 seconds old when Charlotte Caslick raced away to restore Australia's lead once more but it again didn't last long with Naoibasali scoring her second to tie the scores at 10-10.

Australia were awarded a penalty after the siren, but Cassie Staples - apparently thinking her side was up following Green's try - kicked the ball into touch.