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New Zealand become first nation to defend World Cup Sevens titles

New Zealand become first nation to defend World Cup Sevens titles”

It was all the more impressive a performance from the Black Ferns Sevens as they were backing up from a hugely tough semifinal against the US, getting home 26-21 over the team fired up by the home crowd.

On Sunday though, they were outplayed by England in the Cup semi-finals, losing 29-7, before bouncing back in style to beat Fiji 24-19 in the bronze medal play-off.

Captain Billy Dardis started the try-scoring and Jimmy O'Brien and replacements Terry Kennedy and Greg O'Shea joined him on the scoresheet as Ireland reeled off four tries to Australia's two at AT&T Park.

The Kiwi's men and women's teams now hold world titles in both seven-a-side and 15-a-side, which they will be out to defend next year in Japan in the Rugby World Cup, 15's a side tournament.

"What is most pleasing for me is the fact that‚ after that disappointment against England‚ we came out firing against Fiji and outplayed them to finish the season on a very strong performance‚" Powell said. Neil Powell's team went into the semi-final high on confidence after two resounding wins over Ireland (45-7) and Scotland (36-5).

Despite retaining the title in the men's and women's tournament, New Zealand coach Clark Laidlaw also remains unconvinced. "They came through some really close games and played some outstanding rugby". "Since the Commonwealth Games, we have won medals at every tournament bar one".

It was a record-breaking crowd for a rugby event in the United States, a country no stranger to the sport given the longstanding popularity of the Las Vegas Sevens. "But in knockout format, who cares?"

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The Blitzboks walloped Scotland 36-5 while England's Phil Burgess scored at sudden death to beat U.S. 24-19.

"We conceded three penalties at rucks that led to turnovers for England and they made us pay from those mistakes".

"We were really proud of the girls".

"There were a couple of tries that were probably a bit soft".

Fiji captain Jerry Tuwai is caught by the New Zealand defence. "We won two and lost two, and weren't far away from winning a third so it's been pretty successful really", said John. After winning the Las Vegas leg of the Rugby Sevens World Series earlier this year, US entered with title aspirations and enjoyed the support of a raucous home crowd at AT&T Park, home to baseball's San Francisco Giants, but can now finish no better than fifth.

Having come from behind to beat host nation the United States 26-21 in the semi-finals, New Zealand enjoyed the ideal start to the final when Michaela Blyde raced away for her seventh try of the tournament after some good work by Tyla Nathan-Wong.

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