Australia wins the World Series 7s in Canada.
On Sunday in Langford, Canada, Australia’s women won the rugby sevens World Series for the third time, defeating returning powerhouse New Zealand 21-17 in the final match.
Australia won their fourth gold medal of the series at Langford to clinch the title before the Toulouse final later this month, while the “Black Ferns” of New Zealand were unable to compete in the four prior competitions due to COVID-19-related issues.
Although Australia had already won the Series going into the Langford final versus the Black Ferns, coach Tim Walsh indicated his team was still focused on defeating the Olympic winners.
It has been wonderful to see New Zealand return to the scene, he remarked.
“We enjoy competing with one another and putting each other through obstacles.
“Winning the World Series is an amazing and unforgettable event for everyone involved, and doing it with a great win that demonstrates resiliency and character amplifies the feelings.”
The Cory Sweeney-coached Black Ferns, who were competing in their first World Series match in more than two years, came within a few seconds of winning the gold medal in Canada, but captain Sarah Hirini was injured with a minute to go when teammate Portia Woodman unintentionally elbowed her in the face.
When Hirini was forced to leave the field with blood gushing and New Zealand gave up a series of breakdown penalties, Australia’s Lily Dick was able to score the game-winning try.
“I felt so bad doing that to Sarah, said Woodman of the elbow.
“I think she said, ‘Because it was you it wasn’t so bad, but I felt awful.”
All nine World Series have been won by either Australia or six-times champions New Zealand.
The rivalry will continue at the July-August Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.