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Aussie women fall to Kiwis in 7s final

Australia have been beaten 34-10 by New Zealand in the final of the women's Sydney Sevens rugby tournament at Spotless Stadium.

Aussie women fall to Kiwis in 7s final

Australia have been beaten 34-10 by New Zealand in the final of the women's Sydney Sevens rugby tournament at Spotless Stadium.

ELLIA GREEN of Australia runs the ball in the Women's Cup Semi Final 2 played between Australia and Ireland during the Sydney HSBC Sevens at Spotless Stadium in Sydney, Australia.
ELLIA GREEN of Australia runs the ball in the Women's Cup Semi Final 2 played between Australia and Ireland during the Sydney HSBC Sevens at Spotless Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Picture:Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Australian women's sevens rugby coach John Manenti joked that New Zealand's rivals should consider splitting the bill on a sports psychologist after they made it 48 straight wins to claim the Sydney Sevens title.

The Black Ferns' 34-10 defeat of the hosts on Sunday capped a perfect year for the world champions, whose last loss came against Australia more than 12 months in the previous Sydney final.


Since then they have put a gap on the field ahead of Tokyo's 2020 Olympics, where Australia beat them for the inaugural women's rugby sevens gold medal.

"Maybe all the teams need to chip in for a sports psych for the whole world series and all try and help each other out," Manenti joked.

"Maybe we've got to play 14 of us or something."

Jokes aside, the Australian coach believes their best showing of the season - a grand final berth that saw them jump from fourth to equal third in the world series standings - gave them plenty of hope for a breakthrough against New Zealand.

"We're not that far away; you need a bit of luck and need to play really well," he said

"We're getting closer."

A line-ball yellow card to captain Sharni Williams, when scores were locked 5-5, proved crucial as the Kiwis scored twice and never looked back.

Michaela Blyde tore a tired Australian defence to bits with a second-half hat-trick as the hosts were left to ponder what might've been.

"When you put it like that it sounds pretty good, it's hard to believe, Blyde told Fox Sports after the win.

"Ever since the Comm Games final (which they won in extra time against Australia) we've just completely turned around our culture.

"Every tournament, every team, every game is one we can't take likely."

Looking ahead to Tokyo, Manenti saw plenty of positives and was pleased to put 14 points between them and fifth-placed France in a season where the top four earn direct Olympic entry.

A grand final double to Emma Sykes underlined her offensive threat while Ellia Green had one of her best tournaments to dominate in attack and defence and rookies Sariah Pak and Lily Dick both played big minutes.

"That (the Olympics) is the big picture obviously, (but) winning in Sydney would have meant the world to us," he said.

AAP


AAP




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