All Blacks Sevens defend World Cup title with win over England

Headlines 23/07/2018

The All Blacks Sevens have defended their World Cup title with a tense 33-12 win over England at San Francisco.

Sione Molia opened the scoring for the Kiwis, when he broke the English defensive line and sprinted away for a try that was converted.

Molia also had New Zealand's second, diving over from a goal-line ruck to capitalising on a long period of territory advantage.

But just seconds before half-time, Mike Ellery pulled back a try for England, after a long run by Dan Norton down the right side-line.

The All Blacks held a 14-7 advantage at the break, but extended that with a try in the left corner by Joseva Ravouvou soon after the restart.

They let themselves down, though, with some weak tackling that allowed Ruaridh McConnochie to tip-toe down the side-line for a try that brought England back within a converted try.

With less than a minute on the clock, Akulia Rokolisoa sealed the victory, running of the shoulder of a half break and eluding the final despairing English tackle.

The clock had expired, when Joass added the icing on the cake, skipping through the demoralised defence for a try of his own.

"This is massive," said captain Tim Mikkelson afterwards. "We knew coming into this it would be tough."

The men were also under pressure to replicate the achievements of the Black Ferns Sevens, who also defended their title and added to their gold-medal success at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

"Both teams train at the same place," said Mikkelson. "They pushed us by winning their title... we're just humbled to get that victory too."