Shock as Blitzboks fail to medal, NZ take gold at Games

16 April, 2018, 01:44 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Australia and England complete Women's Sevens Commonwealth semi-final line-up

Both teams set up semi-finals against England, played earlier today, with the women winning 26-5 and the men 17-12, setting up Finals against Olympic champions Australia and Fiji.

South Africa's Blitzboks, the defending Commonwealth Games champions, suffered a shock deafeat at the hands of England on Sunday at the Gold Coast, Australia.

The victor of that match will progress through to the semi-finals and the loser will be out of medal contention.

Fiji, who won last week's Hong Kong sevens, were bidding for their first Commonwealth gold after taking silver behind New Zealand in the inaugural sevens in 1998 and again in 2002.

The BlitzBoks warmed up for the pool decider with Scotland with an emphatic 52-0 defeat of a Papua New Guinea side that simply had no answer to the hard-running and support lines of the World Rugby Sevens Series leaders and spent virtually the whole game pinned deep in their own half.

The women's final was also characterised by a strong first half performance from New Zealand and some desperate defence before Brazier stepped up to end home hopes of victory.

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Another turn of pace from Celestine Masinde doubled Kenya's lead to 14-0 at the break, before South Africa came roaring back with tries from Mathrin Simmers and Zenay Jordaan. In a thrilling extra stanza, New Zealand secured the victory when Kelly Brazier scored a 80m try.

Etene Nanai-Seturo opened the scoring for New Zealand after two minutes and Vilimoni Koroi's conversion gave them a 7-0 lead.

"Both teams had a disrupted build up with injury and illness affecting their squads".

"For our women to claim the first ever women's sevens gold medal is fantastic, this is a group of players that continues to impress and inspire and that final was enthralling".

"Not many guys in this team would know the feeling of a gold medal", Mikkelson added.

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