Aussie women’s sevens claim triple crown

Australia’s all-conquering women’s rugby sevens team have won the World Cup in Cape Town, after defeating arch rivals New Zealand in an enthralling and nerve-racking final.

The team which has dominated the sevens circuit all year completed a unique ‘triple crown’ of international triumphs with their 24-22 victory on Sunday (Monday morning AEST), adding the World Cup to their Commonwealth Games and world series titles.

But the Australian men’s team missed out on the medals, finishing fourth after losing their championship bronze final 19-14 to Ireland, having earlier been beaten 38-14 by six-try Fiji, who went on to win the title with a 29-12 win over New Zealand.

It’s the first time since the inaugural women’s World Cup in 2009 that the Australians have won the biggest non-Olympic sevens prize – and they had to overcome a thunderous late comeback from the reigning champs to prevail.

But they only sealed their hard-earned win when New Zealander Tenika Willison missed a straightforward, post-hooter conversion attempt, which would have levelled the scores at 24 apiece.

Her error saw the Australians celebrating wildly at the Cape Town Stadium, with their outstanding co-captain Charlotte Caslick declaring: “What we’ve achieved this year has been pretty awesome.

“We spoke about the ’09 girls today and doing it for them. Hopefully, in three or four cycles, girls will be talking about us and what we achieved this year. The legacy of this Australian women’s sevens is pretty f****** awesome!”

Her fellow co-captain Demi Hayes enthused: “Hopefully, we’ve done Australia proud. It’s never been done before so to take that World Cup home is really special.”