Murray Wenzel / AAP News
New Zealand have denied Australia a men’s rugby sevens medal at the Commonwealth Games, cruising to a 26-12 win in the bronze medal game.
Benefiting from two fortunate tries from broken play, the Kiwis broke the game open in a bitter-sweet rebound after their semi-final loss to Fiji denied them a sixth Games title from seven attempts.
Australia had their chances when scores were split 7-7 early in the second half before Moses Leo ran 80 metres untouched to score the go-ahead try.
It was one-way traffic from then on, ensuring Australia didn’t add to their two bronze and a silver collected since the event began in 1998.
The fourth-place finish was a missed chance for a side keen to raise the profile and legitimacy of a program stripped of funding after a failed Tokyo Games campaign last year.
But, sitting second ahead of next month’s final World Series leg and September’s World Cup, they can immediately switch focus.
Wallabies star Samu Kerevi didn’t feature in the campaign after hurting his knee in Saturday’s pool action