New Zealand retain World Cup Sevens crown in style

  San Franscisco, Monday

New Zealand became the first team in history to win back-to-back World Cup Sevens crowns here Sunday, completing a clean sweep of titles with a 33-12 defeat of England in the final at AT&T Park.

The New Zealanders who beat England to win the last tournament in 2013 in Moscow once again proved too strong for the English, outscoring their opponents by five tries to two.

The victory completed a golden weekend in San Francisco for New Zealand after their women successfully defended their own sevens title on Saturday. New Zealand’s men and women’s teams now hold world titles in both seven-a-side and 15-a-side versions of the game.

New Zealand co-captain Scott Curry, who missed the 2013 victory breaking his hand shortly before the tournament, was ecstatic following the win.

“It was real disappointing for me last time, so to come to San Francisco and play the way we did, I’m just really proud,” Curry said.

Curry said the New Zealand men had taken inspiration from the women’s victory 24 hours earlier.

“We were really proud of the girls. It’s awesome to emulate what they did and go back-to-back for the first time ever,” he said. “It’s good to go home with two World Cups.”

The New Zealanders, who had stunned Olympic champions Fiji to reach the final, took the lead in the opening minute, when Sione Molia burst through weak English tackling to score under the posts.

Molia then grabbed a second try moments later, burrowing over from close range to cap a dominant start.

England hit back on the stroke of half-time when Mike Ellery found space inside the 22 from Dan Norton’s pass for a converted score which made it 14-7 at the break.

New Zealand were soon threatening again after the restart and Joe Ravouvou took them into a 19-7 lead when he easily beat Norton on the outside for a try in the corner.                                     -AFP

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