Commonwealth Games: New Zealand Women's Sevens claim gold in final thriller against Australia

  • 15/04/2018

An 80-metre Kelly Brazier wonder try in extra time has seen the Black Ferns Sevens create history and defeat Australia 17-12 in a colossal Commonwealth Games women's rugby sevens decider.

Finishing regular time at 12-12, both sides had extra-time opportunities but failed to take advantage until Brazier collected the ball near her own 22-metre line, jinked past her defender and sprinted all the way home.

She did so after the bell of the first five-minute period of extra time, and barely a minute after Kiwi Niall Williams had produced a miraculous tackle to deny breakaway Australian Dom du Toit.

during Rugby Sevens on day 11 of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Robina Stadium on April 15, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia.
Photo credit: Getty
during Rugby Sevens on day 11 of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Robina Stadium on April 15, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia.
Photo credit: Getty

As a result, New Zealand becomes the first ever women's rugby sevens champions at the Commonwealth Games.

In a battle for the ages, Kiwi speed demon Portia Woodman got on the scoreboard first with her own length-of-the-field effort, before a relentless Michaela Blyde added New Zealand's second before half-time.

Down 12-0, the Australians came out firing in the second stanza, with Woodman hauling Emma Tonegato down just short of the line.

The tackle appeared to hurt the Black Ferns star, limping off the field momentarily, and helped give Australia a second wind.

The on-song Blyde made a pair of try-saving tackles in quick succession, on Ellia Green and Vani Pelite respectively, but a wayward Kiwi lineout eventually got Australia over the line through Emilee Cherry.

Green then followed suit to level scores down the right flank, but Emma Sykes couldn't put her side in front, missing the conversion.

Finishing the match at 12-12, each side appeared nervous, with Australia going closest when a desperate Williams pulled down du Toit.

Yet, with the crowd bellowing and the hooter for half-time in extra time already

sounding, Brazier collected the ball in an innocuous position, saw no passing options on either side and decided to just go herself.

Getting up a head of steam, the Black Ferns Women's Rugby World Cup winner simply couldn't be reeled in by the chasing du Toit and scored the match-winner before being embraced by her delirious team-mates.

The Ferns had earlier defeated England 26-5 in their semi-final. England took bronze with a 24-19 win over Canada.

NZN