New Zealand became the first side to win back-to-back Rugby World Cup Sevens titles after defeating England 33-12 in San Francisco Sunday.
It capped a brilliant weekend for New Zealand rugby as the Black Ferns had the previous day taken the women’s title with victory over France. Both teams celebrated in Kiwi style by performing the haka after the trophy lifts.
— Rugby World Cup Sevens (@WorldRugby7s)
The All Blacks Sevens entered the competition seeded third behind Fiji and South Africa — both of whom suffered semifinal defeats — but came through with victories over Russia (29-5), France (12-7) and Fiji (17-22) en route to Sunday’s showpiece.
Two tries from Sione Molia gave his side an early lead in the final before a score from Mike Ellery kept England in touch. But three further tries in the second period handed New Zealand the title, the first side to win the World Cup on three occasions.“It’s massive,” said co-captain Tim Mikkelson. “We knew coming in it was going to be tough. We nearly got knocked out by France but raised it against Fiji. Credit to the coaching staff and the coach who brought the boys together.
“Both men and women train in same place and they put pressure on us by winning their final. Credit to England who played amazing this weekend and we’re humbled to get the victory.”
New Zealand’s results in the Sevens World Series — the sport’s ten-tournament international competition — have been mixed with their sole victory last season coming in Cape Town back in December.
But Clark Laidlaw’s men have found another gear on the big stage by adding the World Cup title to the Commonwealth gold they won on Australia’s Gold Coast in April.