Double Commonwealth gold for Rugby Sevens team

Author
Liam Napier, NZ Herald,
Section
Gold Coast 2018,
Publish Date
Sunday, 15 April 2018, 6:10PM
The women's side clinched gold first in a thriller against Australia (Image / PhotoSport)
The women's side clinched gold first in a thriller against Australia (Image / PhotoSport)

It's double Commonwealth Games gold for the New Zealand rugby sevens team.

The women's side clinched gold first in a thriller against Australia, winning 17-12 in extra time courtesy of a game-ending Kelly Brazier 80m try.

The men followed shortly afterwards, stunning favourites Fiji 17-0.

 

It was sweet revenge for the Black Ferns sevens team - two years after Australia's women left New Zealand heartbroken at the Rio Olympics, New Zealand returned the favour thanks to a stunning match-winning try from Kelly Brazier after the hooter in extra time.

That they did it on Australian soil only magnifies the satisfaction.

What an epic match this was, New Zealand claiming the first women's Commonwealth Games Sevens gold medal in the most dramatic fashion.

New Zealand led 12-5 at the break but they couldn't be separated at full-time – Australia's Cassie Staples inexplicably kicking the ball out thinking her side had kicked a conversion to win it.

How she will regret that costly moment.

Though there were many defining instances in this gripping contest.

In but one example Niall Williams pulled off a match-saving tackler at the death just before Brazier broke away.

The 27,000-strong crowd traded chants of "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie" and "Kiwis, Kiwis" to form an amazing atmosphere at Robina Stadium.

Australian country singer John Williamson sung "true blue" at the halftime break and it seemed to do the trick, inspiring a comeback to see the locals level 12-12 at the end of regulation.

In punishing 31 degree heat, both teams were out on their feet, only for Brazier to step up with a piece of superb individual brilliance.

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