Australia won Olympic Sevens gold after beating New Zealand 24-17 in the final on Monday.
Australia underlined their dominance of the women’s game by comfortably beating their trans-Tasman rivals in an absorbing, tense final.
New Zealand possibly had the better first half, opening the scoring through a try by Kayla McAlister as the women in black employed some aggressive rush defence. It didn’t take Australia long to level things up, Emma Tonegato reaching over in the corner although replays showed she might have lost the ball on the line.
Nevertheless, the try was awarded. Portia Woodman, who scored a hat-trick in New Zeland’s semi-final against Great Britain, was sin-binned shortly after for a deliberate knock down. Australia capitalised on the numerical advantage immediately, taking a 10-5 lead through Evania Pelite on the stroke of half time.
Australia settled better in the second half and started to show their dominance with some good running lines and slick handling. Ellia Green scored a good team try before some individual brilliance from Charlotte Caslick took Australia’s lead to 24-5 which effectively ended New Zealand’s chances of a gold medal.
However, they never gave up and finished the game strongly through tries by McAlister and Woodman to give the final score some respectability.
Gold Medal Final
Australia 24-17 New Zealand
Australia 17-5 Canada
The Australians were simply too strong for their Canadian opponents, scoring three tries to one. They led 12-0 at half-time. Emilee Cherry scored the first two tries, the first courtesy of an overlap, before helping create her second and eventually taking an inside pass to barge over. Australia did well to stretch Canada’s defence, which was shaky for the most part, while their own defensive performance will give them confidence going into the final, where they will face the winners of the second semi-final between Great Britain and New Zealand.
Chloe Dalton scored the third try to seal the victory as the Aussies showed their skill with ball in hand. Charity Williams gave her team a consolation try but there wasn’t enough time to launch a realistic comeback.
Great Britain 7-25 New Zealand
A hat-trick by Portia Woodman saw New Zealand book their place in the Women’s final by beating Great Britain 25-7 in their semi-final clash. The Kiwis will face Australia in the final. Woodman gave her team an early lead with her first try, but Britain hit back straight away through Alice Richardson which gave them a brief 7-5 lead.
Ruby Tui made it 10-7 for the women in black before everything fell apart for their opponents. Katy McLean and Amy Wilson Hardy were both sin-binned within minutes of each other which left them with five women against seven. Woodman scored her second try for the Kiwis to give them a 15-7 half-time lead. Woodman added her third before Huriana Manuel added her name to the score sheet to clinch a comfortable win.
Bronze Medal match
Canada 33-10 Great Britain
France 5-19 USA
Spain 21-0 Fiji
Fifth-place play-off semi-finals
Spain 12-24 France
Fiji 7-12 USA
Brazil 33-5 Japan
Colombia 10-22 Kenya