All Black sevens finish fifth in Las Vegas as hosts United Stated triumph

  • 05/03/2018
New Zealand pipped Australia in the fifth place playoff.
New Zealand pipped Australia in the fifth place playoff. Photo credit: Photosport

New Zealand needed a try deep into extra time to beat Australian 17-12 and finish fifth at the world series tournament in Las Vegas.

Sione Molia received the ball behind his own posts and scorched more than 100m to bag a spectacular match-winning try, producing two jinks to elude Australian sweeper James Stannard.

A fifth placing is a solid return for the New Zealanders, whose tournament hopes ended when losing their quarter-final to Fiji a day earlier.

A classification win over England earlier on Monday (NZT) was followed by a trans-Tasman thriller in which Vilomoni Koroi levelled the halftime scores at 7-7 after cancelling out a try to playmaking opposite Stannard.

Sam Dickson appeared to hand New Zealand victory before the scores were levelled nearly two minutes after the hooter through a try to Lewis Holland.

Earlier, New Zealand pipped England 19-14.

Newcomer Ngarohi McGarvey Black scored two first-half tries and Dylan Collier stretched out for the winner in the game's frantic final play.

The Cup final was won in emphatic fashion by hosts the United States, 28-0 over Argentina.

Two semi-final upsets resulted in the Pumas pipping series leaders South Africa 12-10 while the Eagles used their pace to see off Olympic champions Fiji 19-7.

Those results leave New Zealand second on the overall standings at the midway point of the 10-leg series, with all five tournaments so far boasting five different winners.

Series standings: South Africa 92, New Zealand 82, Fiji 79, Australia 72, Argentina 67, United States 58, England 57, Kenya 45.

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