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Williams, Levi shine to deliver Australia Sevens World Cup glory

Sun, 11/09/2022, 6:44 pm
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
All the best Aussie 7s moments from Toulouse.

Australia have made history, claiming the 2022 Rugby Sevens World Cup with a thrilling 24-22 victory over New Zealand.

The win comes after Commonwealth Games and World Series glory, the first team to achieve all three in the same season.

Catch the Rugby Sevens World Cup LIVE on Kayo and BEIN Sports

“I think it’s so exciting for the group and everyone back home, the whole of Australia,” co-captain Demi Hayes said

“It’s never been done before so to take that out is really special."

Tim Walsh's side put themselves in position for the feat after a tense 17-7 win over USA in the semi-finals, setting up the dream final.

The Kiwis were denied their own shot at the Triple Crown in 2018 and looked to play spoilers when Kelly Brazier dived over untouched after sustained pressure.

Needing a spark, it was a combination of old and newer heads than got the Australians into the contest as Sharni Williams and Maddison Levi lit up Cape Town.

Williams, who was awarded player of the final, started the comeback with a brutal break from the resulting kick-off, before Levi finished it off in the corner.

Levi crossed shortly afterwards after some nice game awareness from co-captain Charlotte Caslick.

Williams' clutch conversation from close to the sidelines proved critical as Stacey Fluhler reduced the margin to two at the break.

The 34-year-old's influence was then felt on defence, earning the turnover before a cynical foul from Niall Williams saw the Black Ferns reduced to six.

This was the opening the Commonwealth champions needed, with Faith Nathan immediately taking advantage, touching down after a nice offload from Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea.

Levi completed the hat-trick, showcasing the incredible pace to give Australia the 24-10 victory.

However, the Kiwis refused to give up as Shiray Kaka started the comeback with a try of her own.

With the siren well and truly a distant memory, Alena Saili looked to have sent the game into extra-time with a late try.

In the end, Tenika Willison's conversion attempt sailed to the left, handing the Australians an emotional win.

“It’s a pretty special feat that this group of young girls has done," Caslick said after the match.

"It was something we’ve been brave enough to put out there and put everything on the line to come away with.

"It’s incredible. I’m so proud of the girls - it’s been an honour to lead them this year and to watch the growth they’ve had as a group and as a team on and off the field.

"It’s really special for me to be a part of - at the moment I’m just really proud - proud of our coaching staff, proud of the girls, proud of (co-captain) Demi and I, and getting them to have this bond that is becoming a real force on the world stage."

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