New Zealand clinch World Cup glory
June 30, 2013
New Zealand captain DJ Forbes leads the celebrations following his side's triumph over England in Moscow © Getty Images
New Zealand claimed the Rugby World Cup Sevens crown with a dominant 33-0 victory over England in the tournament finale at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday.
Two first half tries from Tim Mikkelson, either side of another from Tomasi Cama, put the Kiwis in control at the break with a lacklustre England offering little in return in difficult playing conditions following torrential rain earlier in the day. Gillies Kaka heaped further woe on England with a fourth try midway through the second half and Waisake Naholo set the seal on New Zealand's second World Cup triumph, and first since 2001, with one final score in the dying moments of the game.
After the final whistle, New Zealand captain DJ Forbes said: "This is truly a humbling experience and I'm almost lost for words. I'm just so proud of the boys. This win is for the boys, the management here and everyone back home. It's really great to get another trophy."
New Zealand's victory followed that of their women's team who triumphed with a 29-12 victory over Canada. As a result, New Zealand's men and women currently hold the World Cup in both forms of the game as well as the Sevens World Series titles.
England booked their place in their first final since the inaugural tournament in 1993 with a 12-5 victory over Kenya in the semi-finals. Winger Dan Norton coped best with the sodden pitch and raced away for two crucial first half tries before producing a try-saving tackle on Kenya's Willy Ambaka in the closing moments of the clash. But that effort clearly took its toll with Ben Ryan's side unable to re-produce that form in the title-decider.
Ryan said: "As a Head Coach of course I am disappointed with the final result but over the last three days I have been so proud of these lads. We have had a hard year and we have finished strongly. A lot of things went right this week in that we have won five games and we hit a World Cup Final for the first time in 20 years.
"New Zealand played well in the first half whilst we didn't get out of our own half and didn't execute what we said we were going to do. We then played a little conservatively in the second half when we were playing catch-up but the boys will learn from this. There are so many young players in our squad and they'll be around for a long time. These lads have played in a World Cup Final, we've had two third place finishes in the last couple of months and an European title so we have actually got a lot to be proud of. "
New Zealand, the Sevens World Series champions, were first to book their place in the final with a 17-0 victory over Fiji that was suspended midway through the first half due to the threat of lightning. When play eventually resumed an hour later, a try from Bryce Heem set the seal on the Kiwis' victory that propelled them into their third World Cup final and first since 2005.
Earlier in the day, England kept their title hopes alive with a 21-17 victory over Australia in their quarter-final while Kenya progressed thanks to a narrow 24-19 success against France. New Zealand ended Wales reign as world champions with a 26-10 victory in their last eight clash while Fiji edged out South Africa 12-10 in their clash.
Third place play-off:
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