New Zealand has completed a clean sweep of the World Rugby Sevens series in Sydney over the weekend. The Kiwi women, known as the Black Ferns, dismantled the Australian women in the final with a clinical 34-10 win over the hosts. Just hours later, the All Black 7s annihilated the US Eagles 21-5 to complete their clean sweep.
Their wins in both the men’s and women’s competitions means Australia’s trans-Tasman rivals now sit first in both World Series standings. The men are equal first with the US on 76 points, whereas the women are well in front on a perfect 60 points, having won all tournaments thus far.
While the US Eagles have emerged as a serious threat in this year’s World Series, they fell just short again against the Kiwis. It was the US’ fourth consecutive loss in the final.
How did the Australian men fare?
The Aussie men were knocked out of the competition in the quarter-finals, narrowly going down to Fiji, 22-17. While the Aussies led towards the end of the match, it was two late tries to the Fijians that brought about the heartbreaking loss.
A 17-14 win over France meant the Australian men qualified for the fifth place playoff; however, they lost to South Africa 17-10 in their final match. Australia now sits sixth in the overall standings on 47 points. What is more concerning for the men in gold is they have lost further ground to all teams ahead of them.
Australian coach, Tim Walsh, lamented his side missing opportunities, suggesting they needed to develop their mental toughness in order to compete with the best.
Aussie women punished in final
The Aussie women were dealt a serious blow after being comprehensively beaten by the Black Ferns in the final. The defending Olympic champions now sit in third place on 46 points, second to the US on 48 points.
On a more positive note, Australia finishing runner-up helps them firm up their position in the top four, which will be really important in gaining instant qualification for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.