Australia and Fiji win Rugby Sevens World Cup in Cape Town

Australia’s women’s team spray champagne after beating New Zealand to win their section of the Rugby 7s World Cup tournament in Cape Town, South Africa on Sunday.RODGER BOSCH/AFP/Getty Images

The Aussies dethroned two-time defending champion New Zealand on Sunday to add the Rugby Sevens World Cup title to their HSBC World Rugby Series and Commonwealth Games championships.

Trailing 24-10, the second-seeded Black Ferns scored late tries to reduce the deficit to 24-22, but the top-seeded Australians escaped extra time when Tenika Willison’s conversion attempt failed. derivative right next to it.

The game turned at the start of the second half when New Zealander Niall Williams was sent to the trash for throwing the ball away after a penalty. Australia scored twice on the power play.

Maddison Levi scored three tries for Australia at the Cape Town Stadium.

No. 3 France beat the fourth-seeded Americans 29-7 to win the women’s bronze medal.

Fiji scored four first-half tries en route to a 29-12 victory over two-time defending champions New Zealand in a men’s final that featured three yellow cards. The Pacific Islanders also won the World Cup title in 1997 and 2005.

Number 7 Ireland, who beat top-seeded South Africa 24-14 in the quarter-finals on Saturday, beat number 2 Australia 19-14 on a try from Harry McNulty in the 13th minute in the men’s bronze medal game.

The men’s final was a rematch of the Olympic gold medal game in Tokyo where Fiji beat the All Blacks 27-12. New Zealand beat Fiji 28-21 last month in the Los Angeles Sevens final.

Joseva Talacolo, Kaminieli Rasaku, Elia Canakaivata, Filipe Sauturaga and Pilipo Bukayaro scored tries for third-seeded Fiji, who led 24-5 at the break.

Moses Leo and Akuila Rokolisoa scored tries for 5th New Zealand.

Fiji’s Talacolo was sent to sin bin for a high tackle on Rokolisoa’s try early in the second half. As he returned, Sevuloni Mocenacagi followed him to the trash can. The numbers were evened when New Zealand’s Sione Molia received a yellow card for obstruction.

The Canadians finished sixth while the men finished 13th.

It was a tough final for the fifth-seeded Canadians, who ran into a circular saw in Fiji, losing 53-0. Canada trailed 34-0 at halftime as No. 6 Fiji, clamoring for one restart after another, ran in six of their nine tries before the break.

Fiji held on to the opening kick-off and took a 10-0 lead thanks to tries from Reapi Ulunisau and Alowesi Nakoci in the opening two minutes. The Fijians once again broke through the Canadian defense as Ana Maria Naimasi fended off Florence Symonds to make it 15-0 after four minutes.

The onslaught continued with Sesenielie Donu fending off Breanne Nicholas en route to the try line. Fiji won the ball on the restart and Ulunisau scored under the posts. The conversion made it 27-0 for Fiji.

It was more or less the same on the next kick-off with Raijieli Daveua climbing high to collect the ball and then unloading on Ulunisau to score under the posts and complete the first-half barrage.

Lavenia Cavuru, Adi Vani Buleka and Donu added second-half tries to complete Fiji’s rout.

The teams had shared their two previous World Series encounters with Fiji winning 28-26 in Dubai and Canada winning 26-19 in Langford, British Columbia.

Earlier Sunday, the 10th-seeded Canadian men collected 12 straight points for a 12-10 victory over 17th-seeded Chile in the battle for 13th place.

Both Canadian programs have seen a lot of change with a series of retirements following the Tokyo Olympics where the men finished eighth and the women ninth.

The Canadians, runners-up to New Zealand at the 2013 Moscow tournament, finished seventh four years ago in San Francisco. The best Canadian male performance was a fifth place finish in 2001 in Argentina. They were 12th four years ago.

Couvreur’s Olivia scored two tries with singles from Nicholas and Keyara Wardley as Canada scored 22 consecutive points after conceding a fourth-minute try from Abbie Brown beat No.8 England 22-7 to open the game sunday.

De Couvreur was originally a traveling reserve but joined the playing squad after an injury to veteran Bianca Farella, who ranks second on the World Series top scorers list with 157.

De Couvreur, 22, was one of seven players on Canada’s 13-woman roster aged 22 or younger.

The Canadians were knocked out of the championship in a 10-7 loss to the fourth-seeded Americans in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

In the women’s semi-final, Australia beat the United States 17-7 and New Zealand beat France 38-7. In the men’s semi-final, New Zealand beat Ireland 17-10 and Fiji beat Australia 38-14.

Against Chile, the Canadian men found themselves defensive for most of the first half and trailed 10-0 at the break.

Canada won the ball on the first kickoff, but gave it to Chile with a handling error and the South Americans attacked the Canadian end. After a penalty resulted in a scrum near the Canadian goal line, Julio Blanc hit the ground in the corner for a 5-0.

Thomas Isherwood made a try tackle to prevent a later Chile attack. And the Canadian Lockie Kratz was sent to the trash at the end of half-time for an illegal tackle. The Condors took advantage of the extra manpower with White scoring.

Josiah Morra put Canada on the board early in the second half, edging the defense down the right flank to cut the lead to 10-5. Kratz broke through the Chilean defense after a penalty and Brock Webster’s conversion gave Canada a 12-10 lead with two and a half minutes remaining. Kratz was injured on the play and had to be rescued.

After losing to Uruguay on Saturday, the Canadians survived a 19-point second-half comeback from the Welsh side to win 33-19 in the men’s consolation game later in the day.

Canada opened the men’s game on Friday with a 31-7 win over 23rd-placed Zimbabwe but were knocked out of the championship table after a 19-12 loss to seventh-placed France in the round of 16.

The 24-team men’s and 16-team women’s events both featured a “winner-takes-all” format, meaning a single loss eliminates a team from the championship.

South Africa marks the eighth edition of the men’s sevens World Cup and the fourth for the women.

About Walter J. Leslie

Check Also

A suspended sculpture transforms the atrium of the Cape Town museum | app

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Moody, brooding and floaty, Malagasy artist Joel Andrianomearisoa’s “The …