Australia beat NZ in Sevens final at last


Melissa Woods / AAP News

The Australian Men’s Rugby 7s side has broken a 20-year drought to win the London Sevens tournament and make a statement ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Australia’s men’s team have broken a 20-year drought to beat New Zealand in the final to clinch the World Rugby Sevens Series in London.

In a boost for their Commonwealth Games preparation, the Australians triumphed 19-14 in extra time, with Henry Paterson finishing with a hat-trick of tries while also pulling off a match-saving tackle.

It was Australia’s first men’s Sevens win over New Zealand in a World Series final since 2002 in Brisbane, and is their first title anywhere in three years.

“Some of the efforts throughout the day, I cannot be prouder of everyone’s effort,” an incredibly proud captain Nick Malouf said of the break-through victory.

“We’ve worked so hard for this so I’m glad we’re finally got the reward that I feel like we’ve deserved.

“This is the first Cup final that I’ve or anyone in this group has won.”

The side qualified for the decider after beating series leader South Africa and Samoa, leading to a re-match with New Zealand after their 24-19 Pool C defeat on Saturday.

Paterson, 25, produced one of his best performances in the final.

After he opened the scoring for Australia, New Zealand hit back with converted tries by Akuila Rokolisoa, and Leroy Carter from Dylan Collier’s offload.

Paterson tied the score at 14-14 with two minutes left, outpacing the Kiwis to the line.

Then, after the fulltime hooter, Caleb Tangitau looked to be sprinting free on the outside but Paterson tackled him into touch, forcing extra time.

Australia were able to regain possession from the restart, which led to a break by series star Corey Toole, who was able to find Paterson for the match-winner, sealing his hat-trick in the process.

“That will keep the coaches happy,” Paterson said of the tackle when asked which he liked most, the winning try or the try-saving stop.

Australia made the quarter-finals last week in Toulouse, where they also stunned New Zealand 24-19 to see them elim inated from the group stages for the first time in pr ogram history.

The victory vaults Australia to second place on the World Series ladder, sitting just two points behind South Africa.

The next task for the squad is the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham at the e nd of July, before travelling to Los Angeles for the final round of the World Series in August.

“We’ve still got LA to go but it’s a good result for all the hard work we’re putting in,” Malouf said.



Become part of our Commonwealth Games Australia family and get all the latest news our team members!