Both New Zealand sevens sides competing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast have claimed gold medals in their respective tournaments.
The women’s side needed extra time to beat Australia and take the inaugural gold medal, with a heroic 80-metre effort from Kelly Brazier securing the win.
With scores at 12-7 in favour of New Zealand late in the second half, but Australia’s Ellia Green hit back one minute before the hooter to level the scores.
The conversion was missed, locking the scores at 12. Australia won possession and had a chance to win the match as the final hooter blared, but Cassie Staples chose to send the ball into the stands and play an extra period.
In a rematch of the 2016 Rio Olympics sevens final, Australia came just metres from winning the golden point overtime period, with Vani Pelite racing away before being chased down and turned over by Niall Williams and captain Sarah Goss.
The turnover was the spark New Zealand needed, as Brazier took off from inside her own 22-metre line.
Breaking away on her own, Brazier looked for support as she crossed halfway, but was unable to find any.
Instead of slowing down and waiting for help to arrive, Brazier backed herself and crashed over the line to seal the match and a famous 17-12 victory.
New Zealand’s men followed up the women’s effort as they claimed gold, four years after their heartbreaking finals loss at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Etene Nanai-Seturo opened the scoring and a follow-up effort from Regan Ware sealed the deal against an ill-disciplined Fijian side.
Fiji defended admirably after losing Sevuloni Mocenacgi for two minutes after a no-arms tackle on Sam Dickson, but errors defused any of their attacking efforts as they failed to cross the tryline.
New Zealand had the opportunity to extend the lead to three scores before the game ended, but Andrew Knewstubb’s penalty kick careened off the posts.
The ball landed in the arms of veteran Kurt Baker, who booted the ball out of play to wrap up New Zealand’s gold medal.
New Zealand 14 (E. Nanai-Seturo, R. Ware tries; V. Koroi 2 cons) Fiji 0
New Zealand 17 (Selica Winiata, Michaela Blyde, Kelly Brazier tries; Tennika Willison con) Australia 12 (Emilee Cherry, Ellia Green tries; Emma Sykes con)
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