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Tokyo 2020 #1YearToGo

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Cartan Global | Tokyo 2020


New Zealand gained perfect revenge for last year's defeat by edging Australia to win the World Rugby Women's Sevens in Dubai today following a remarkable comeback after they appeared dead and buried at half-time.

In 2013, Australia overcame an early deficit to edge their Oceanic rivals with a narrow 35-27 victory, but, in an exact role reversal this time around, New Zealand fought back from 17-0 down to win 19-17 in sensational fashion at the Sevens Stadium.

Captain Sarah Goss was the star, touching down in the corner with seconds left for her second try of the game, while the other All Black try-scorer was Tyla Nathan-Wong.

"It's unbelievable really, we pride ourselves on finishing at the end so we're really happy," said Goss after lifting the trophy.

"They came out firing as we knew they would but fortunately we finished the job off.

"It's brilliant."

The tournament, which saw vital qualification points secured ahead of Rio 2016, where rugby sevens will make its Olympic debut, also saw other impressive performances, in a competition hailed as further evidence of the ever-increasing strength of the women's game.

The day began with a shock as France knocked out 15-a-side world champions England, 7-5 in a low scoring nail-biter, while New Zealand were pushed all the way in a 19-17 victory over Russia.

Australia were more comfortable 47-0 winners over Fiji, while Canada breezed to a resounding 36-0 win over the United States.  

In the semi-finals the two Oceanic sides were too strong, with Canada never recovering from a slow start in a 29-7 loss to Australia and New Zealand overcame France 31-10.

Canada made partial amends by edging the French 10-5 in the third-place playoff.

Meanwhile, it was the first day of the men's competition today, with 2013 champions Fiji starting as they hope to go on with three victories in Pool A.

South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia also qualified in impressive fashion.

Wales and Argentina also guaranteed themselves quarter-final qualification with impressive performances, while one more last-eight spot remains up for grabs ahead of the final round of pool matches tomorrow morning, with Scotland or Samoa the likely contenders.

Competition is due to conclude with the men's knock-out matches later tomorrow.