New Zealand triumph in Sydney

Date published: February 7 2016

2016 Sydney Sevens

New Zealand made it back-to-back titles in the Sevens World Series after clinching a 27-24 thriller against Australia.

Having never led in the final, Rieko Ioane scored his hat-trick try with the last play of the match to give New Zealand the victory in front of a sold-out Allianz Stadium crowd of 37,095.

In a repeat of the 17-17 draw in the final pool match of day one it was only Australia's second Cup final on home soil having won the 2002 Brisbane Sevens. But they came up against an inspired Sir Gordon Tietjens' side that never gave up despite Henry Hutchison twice giving Australia the lead in the first-half, and Sam Myers and Greg Jeloudev doing the same in the second-half.

New Zealand remain in third with the win but move to the same points as leaders Fiji (69), who reclaimed top spot by beating South Africa 26-12 to finish third in Sydney, and second-place Blitzboks with points difference separating the three teams at the top.

New Zealand captain Tim Mikkelson said: "I just want to thank Aussie, for an awesome two games over the weekend, you guys played awesome and this is an awesome tournament that will just grow from year to year. 

"To the fans, all the New Zealanders, thanks for coming out and supporting us. And to our boys, another awesome effort, we said it would take 20 minutes to win and we just kept on going and we got the victory in the end."

In the semi-finals New Zealand beat Fiji 14-12, with Akira Ioane scoring one of the tries of the tournament while Australia defeated South Africa 12-7.

In the quarters New Zealand beat USA 24-7, with Andy Friend's side coming from 12-7 behind to beat England 17-12 in sudden death extra-time. Having come off the bench 18-year-old Henry Hutchison scored in the corner to level the scores, before securing a turnover and dotting down for the winning try to send the crowds wild.

Argentina proved themselves to be worthy winners of the Plate at the Sydney Sevens after a solid team performance against Kenya gave them a 24-0 win.

Nicolas Menendez opened the scoring for Santi Gomez Cora's side as Argentina played with fluidity in the first half. A sin-bin for Nelson Oyoo in the second half put even more pressure on Kenya when he took down Franco Sabato in a foot race  to give Argentina a penalty try. Sabato bagged his own try shortly after, with Axel Muller also joining in the fun with his own score.

Canada's Nathan Hirayama scored twice in the Bowl final as his side won all three of their matches on day two to win the Bowl. Following wins over Scotland and Wales, Canada beat Samoa 17-12 to claim eight points for their overall series tally.

Canada captain John Moonlight said: "We had a rough first day, probably didin't put the performances in we wanted to, so better to come out today and get three wins and leave here happy." 

Wales beat Russia 26-19 to lift the Shield after a tough weekend in Sydney. Welsh flyer Luke Morgan scored a hat-trick in the win, and despite the Russians tying things up in the second-half after German Davydov spun his way through the Welsh defence to put through Vitaly Zhivatov, they ended up disappointed when Ethan Davies got his name on the scoreboard after Morgan had earlier completed his hat-trick.

Results

Cup

Final: Australia 24-27 New Zealand
Bronze Final: Fiji 26-12 South Africa

Semi-finals
Australia 12-7 South Africa
New Zealand 14-12 Fiji

Quarter-finals
New Zealand 24-7 USA
Fiji 28-12 Kenya
England 12-17 Australia
South Africa 28-0 Argentina

Plate

Final: Argentina 24-0 Kenya

Semi-finals
England 14-19 Argentina
USA 21-24 Kenya

Bowl

Final: Samoa 12-17 Canada

Semi-finals
Canada 35-12 Scotland
Portugal 10-14 Samoa

Quarter-finals
Portugal 31-17 Japan
Samoa 28-24 Russia
Wales 21-32 Canada
Scotland 22-19 France

Shield
Final: Russia 19-26 Wales

Semi-finals
Wales 22-5 France
Japan 17-24 Russia

With thanks to the World Rugby website

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