Shock as Blitzboks fail to medal, NZ take gold at Games

Posted April 16, 2018

The World Cup holders in the shortened version of the game had not been favoured in either final after some inconsistent performances on the world sevens circuits.

The BlitzBoks warmed up for the pool decider with Scotland with an emphatic 52-0 defeat of a Papua New Guinea side that simply had no answer to the hard-running and support lines of the World Rugby Sevens Series leaders and spent virtually the whole game pinned deep in their own half. In a thrilling extra stanza, New Zealand secured the victory when Kelly Brazier scored a 80m try.

The BlitzBoks will face Fiji in the semifinals of the Sevens at the Commonwealth Games.

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The ball bounced back off the post but fell fortuitously into Kurt Baker's hands, who booted the ball into touch to seal the gold medal for New Zealand.

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 looked to recover when they were restored to a full complement but Scott Curry produced two desperate cover tackles to stop what would have been sensational tries and ensure they regained the title they lost in Glasgow.

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But the Kiwis comfortably wound down the clock for victory and the gold medal.

It was a one-sided men's final as New Zealand killed off the game with two early converted tries against a ragged Fijian defence.

New Zealand had opened up a 12-0 halftime lead after tries to Portia Woodman and Blyde, before Emilee Cherry exploited some poor tackling close to the line and Ellia Green outpaced the cover defence to send the contest into extra time.

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In front of a packed stadium, Kelly Brazier broke two exhausted tackles and ran 75-metres to score the golden point victor.