June 30 2013
Great Day for New Zealand Sevens.
“The New Zealand men’s and women’s sevens teams completed a stunning double by winning their World Cup finals in Moscow today.
The women set the tone with a comprehensive 29-12 thumping of Canada in their final.
The All Blacks Sevens immediately took up the challenge to thrash England 33-nil in their final.
Both finals were played in soaking conditions as thunderstorms blitzed the Russian capital. The men were earlier taken from the field during their semi-final win over Fiji for safety reasons with thunder and lightning circling the ground. Play was suspended for an hour.
Both the men and women returned to play super wet-weather rugby and claim the titles, sending powerful messages as the sport gets set to make its Olympics debut in 2016.
The victories complete a stunning global domination for New Zealand rugby at the highest levels.
New Zealand now owns the World Cups in 15s and sevens in both men’s and women’s divisions. They also hold the world series crowns for sevens in both the men’s and women’s games.
The men made a stunning start to their final with speedsters Sherwin Stowers and Tim Mikkelson combining to slice England apart. A cleverly worked try to Tomasi Cama off a lineout win kept the momentum going New Zealand’s way and Mikkleson provided a crucial strike right on halftime. With Cama banging over the conversions, the Kiwis led 21-nil at the break.
They were content to employ a kicking game in the second half, looking to play in England territory. The English, under pressure, were pressured into mistakes as New Zealand saw out victory to claim their first World Cup since 2001. Bright young stars Gillies Kaka and Waisake Naholo rounded things off with a late try as New Zealand completed a record margin in a final.
“This is truly humbling. I’m lost for words. I’m just so proud for the boys,” said an emotional New Zealand captain DJ Forbes.
Master coach Sir Gordon Tietjens praised the work ethics of his squad to finally reclaim the cup. “It’s been a long time between drinks,” he said. “That was an outstanding performance in those conditions, especially to keep them (England) to zero. “I feel really happy for the team to produce that after two pretty average days here earlier. We started well against Wales in the quarters and Fiji in the semis … that was important.”
Earlier outside back Portia Woodman continued her dazzling form, scoring two tries in the women’s final to take her tournament total to 12.
New Zealand led 17-5 at halftime but had some anxious moments after the break when Ghislaine Landry scored Canada’s second try. But New Zealand replied with two further tries, including another powerful strike by Woodman and the match-sealer by Kayla McAlister.
They had earlier beaten Canada 20-5 in their unbeaten run through pool play
The final victory was particularly sweet for the women who lost the first World Cup final in Dubai four years ago when Australia beat them 15-10 in extra time.
They were clearly the best side in Moscow, showing some brilliant attacking play backed up by resolute defence. “They’re a special group of people, a real family,” said a proud New Zealand coach Sean Horan.
New Zealand captain Huriana Manuel dedicated the win to an aunty who passed away last week. “This one’s for her. I know she is looking down on us,” she said.
The men’s and women’s squads gathered behind the “champions” banner after they were presented with their cups and medals and had gold tickertape rain down on them. They both then produced emotional hakas to the disappointingly small crowd at the massive Luzhniki Stadium. “