Rugby World Cup Sevens: New Zealand wins historic title

New Zealand became the first side to win back-to-back Rugby World Cup Sevens titles after defeating England 33-12 in ...

Posted: Jul 23, 2018 12:24 PM
Updated: Jul 23, 2018 12:24 PM

New Zealand became the first side to win back-to-back Rugby World Cup Sevens titles after defeating England 33-12 in San Francisco Sunday.

It capped a brilliant weekend for New Zealand rugby as the Black Ferns had the previous day taken the women's title with victory over France. Both teams celebrated in Kiwi style by performing the haka after the trophy lifts.

NZ beats England 33-12 in World Cup final

Record third title for All Blacks Sevens

The All Blacks Sevens entered the competition seeded third behind Fiji and South Africa -- both of whom suffered semifinal defeats -- but came through with victories over Russia (29-5), France (12-7) and Fiji (17-22) en route to Sunday's showpiece.

Two tries from Sione Molia gave his side an early lead in the final before a score from Mike Ellery kept England in touch. But three further tries in the second period handed New Zealand the title, the first side to win the World Cup on three occasions.

"It's massive," said co-captain Tim Mikkelson. "We knew coming in it was going to be tough. We nearly got knocked out by France but raised it against Fiji. Credit to the coaching staff and the coach who brought the boys together.

"Both men and women train in same place and they put pressure on us by winning their final. Credit to England who played amazing this weekend and we're humbled to get the victory."

READ: Blacks Ferns win back-to-back World Cup titles

New Zealand's results in the Sevens World Series -- the sport's ten-tournament international competition -- have been mixed with their sole victory last season coming in Cape Town back in December.

But Clark Laidlaw's men have found another gear on the big stage by adding the World Cup title to the Commonwealth gold they won on Australia's Gold Coast in April.

Record crowds

Over 100,000 fans flocked to San Francisco's AT&T Park over the weekend, which had been converted from ballpark to rugby pitch for the event.

It was a record-breaking crowd for a rugby event in the US, a country no stranger to the sport given the longstanding popularity of the Las Vegas Sevens.

READ: Why are the All Blacks so good?

There were 84 games over the weekend, with 24 men's and 16 women's teams from five continents competing in the new knockout format.

Few would have predicted the men's final -- a repeat of the 2013 event in Moscow -- with Olympic champion Fiji and World Series winner South Africa in the semifinal lineup.

"A lot of people wrote us off coming into this, they didn't even give us a shout," said England captain Tom Mitchell, whose side defeated host USA and South Africa on the way to the final.

"To come away as world champions is what we so desperately wanted which means it hurts now.

"There were a couple of tries that were probably a bit soft. You've got to make teams like New Zealand work for their scores, which we didn't. We gave ourselves a little bit too much work to do."

There were at least two teams from five continents in the men's competition -- a testament to the global reach of rugby sevens -- with trophies being won by teams from Oceania, Europe, and South America.

The Chilean Condors overcame Hong Kong 20-7 to win the Bowl final, while Ireland continued its outstanding recent form by defeating Kenya, Wales and Australia en route to lifting the Challenge trophy.

Visit cnn.com/rugby for more news and videos

Teams now take an extended break from the sevens circuit, which for the men resumes in Dubai at the end of November.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319115

Reported Deaths: 7353
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22246264
Hinds20612421
Harrison18342316
Rankin13855282
Jackson13666248
Madison10213224
Lee10050176
Jones8452167
Forrest7810153
Lauderdale7253242
Lowndes6488149
Lamar632288
Lafayette6295120
Washington5412136
Bolivar4833133
Panola4659110
Oktibbeha465898
Pearl River4591146
Marshall4571105
Warren4436121
Pontotoc424573
Union415576
Monroe4154135
Neshoba4059179
Lincoln4007111
Hancock385187
Leflore3514125
Tate342386
Sunflower339391
Pike3366110
Alcorn323272
Scott319274
Yazoo313971
Adams304785
Itawamba304777
Copiah299666
Coahoma298283
Simpson297889
Tippah291168
Prentiss283361
Leake271674
Marion271280
Covington266683
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George251851
Newton248563
Tishomingo230867
Winston229881
Jasper222048
Attala214973
Chickasaw210459
Holmes190374
Clay187454
Stone187233
Tallahatchie179941
Clarke178980
Calhoun173732
Yalobusha167740
Smith164034
Walthall135147
Greene131633
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee127934
Perry126638
Amite125942
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Tunica107927
Jefferson Davis107633
Claiborne102930
Benton102225
Humphreys97533
Kemper96628
Franklin84923
Quitman81816
Choctaw79018
Wilkinson69332
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50817
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 547323

Reported Deaths: 11266
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson808021563
Mobile41925826
Madison35600522
Tuscaloosa26136458
Shelby25554254
Montgomery25067610
Baldwin21774313
Lee16234175
Calhoun14692325
Morgan14614285
Etowah14132361
Marshall12443230
Houston10748287
Elmore10295212
Limestone10180157
St. Clair10146250
Cullman9921200
Lauderdale9582248
DeKalb8955189
Talladega8441184
Walker7318279
Autauga7215113
Blount6925139
Jackson6900113
Colbert6394139
Coffee5616126
Dale4928114
Russell454441
Chilton4461116
Franklin430683
Covington4263122
Tallapoosa4117154
Escambia400280
Chambers3715123
Dallas3604156
Clarke352861
Marion3231106
Pike313978
Lawrence3121100
Winston283372
Bibb267364
Geneva256981
Marengo250565
Pickens236562
Barbour234559
Hale226578
Butler223371
Fayette217162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph186844
Monroe179141
Washington170339
Macon163051
Clay159559
Crenshaw155057
Cleburne152543
Lamar145837
Lowndes141953
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh112930
Coosa111129
Perry108726
Sumter105732
Greene93434
Choctaw61725
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 83°
Columbus
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 73°
Oxford
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 73°
Starkville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 72°
Rain and thunderstorms will continue into this afternoon and evening. However, drier weather is in store for next week.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather