New Zealand beats Olympic women’s rugby 7 gold medalists

June 26, 2021 GMT

TOWNSVILLE, Australia (AP) — New Zealand dominated the Australian women’s side to hand the Rio Olympic gold medalists a 34-5 defeat at the Oceania Sevens rugby tournament on Saturday.

The New Zealand women turned back early Australian pressure and then turned its game over to a strong offensive attack, taking an early 22-0 lead. The win came in the third of six rounds during a three-day tournament featuring some of the Tokyo Olympics favorites in action.

“We were sitting there watching them, waiting for them to play . . . we have to start better,” Australia coach John Manenti said.

Fiji’s women’s side beat Oceania 21-12.

In the men’s tournament, the Rio Olympic-champion Fijians won their third consecutive match, handing New Zealand its first loss.

The Fijians led 21-19 after the fulltime siren with the Kiwis poised deep in their territory. After being awarded a penalty eight meters from the posts, New Zealand missed the game-tying drop-goal and Fiji held on for the two-point win.

The Australian men’s side won its first match, beating Oceania 28-12.


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