Aussie rugby sevens teams no match for NZ

·2-min read

The Australian men's and women's rugby sevens teams have suffered heavy series defeats to New Zealand in a warm-up event for the Tokyo Olympics.

Played over three days in Auckland, the tournament confirmed New Zealand as favourites for men's and women's gold in Tokyo.

Australia were swept in the men's series 6-0 after New Zealand secured 36-5 and 31-14 victories on Sunday.

The tournament's format was played under a schedule template that will be similar to the Tokyo Games in July.

Backing up after a pulsating late match at Eden Park on Saturday night when the Kiwis came back from 19-0 down to steal a 26-19 victory in the final minute, New Zealand went straight to work in the final game.

With both sides fielding their best teams in their first international fixtures since the Vancouver Sevens in March, 2020, Nick Chapman started an Australian rally and the scores were level at halftime, 14-14.

The All Blacks sevens started the second half like the first, re-establishing their lead when Andrew Knewstubb scored their third try.

New Zealand went further in front when Vilimoni Koroi strolled in as three days of competition started to take its toll on the Australians.

The Australian women fared only marginally better despite opening the series with a 19-15 win on Friday.

They lost the next five matches, culminating in 33-12 and 24-12 defeats on Sunday for a 5-1 series scoreline.

The Australian women beat New Zealand to take the gold medal when sevens was first contested at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

But they found it tough going against their trans-Tasman neighbours at the weekend.

Black Ferns comeback winger Portia Woodman secured a hat-trick in Sunday's first game after Australia took an early 7-0 lead.

Woodman also crossed in the sixth game as part of a four-tries-to two victory.

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