They defeated the Black Ferns 24-22 in a rollicking final in Cape Town
Australia women win Sevens World Cup
It was Maddison Levi’s final. The former AFLW star scored a scorching hat-trick as Australia women vanquished their old foes the Black Ferns in the Sevens World Cup final. It was the first time Australia have won the title since 2009 in Dubai.
This rivalry is one of the standouts of the World Rugby Sevens series and with them meeting on the ultimate stage, they decided to put on a show. And it was the 20-year-old Gold Coast native who earnt a curtain call.
Earlier in the day Levi told Rugby World: “I grew up doing dancing, so that’s pretty opposite to what I’m doing now!” But it wasn’t the crash-bang-wallop of rugby that saw her stand out in Cape Town, but her long-range running and tightrope work down the touchline.
Kelly Brazier opened the scoring for New Zealand, but it wasn’t long until the Aussies equalised through Levi down the sideline. Sharni Williams made the burst that set it all up and the 20-year-old finished it off. Not long after, Levi was at the double.
As good as they are, though, it’s not like Australia were streaking ahead. With Sariah Paki treading water in defence, New Zealand’s Risi Pouri-Lane took the initiative to sluice through. At half-time, there were just two points in it, thanks to a Sharni Williams conversion. And tw-pointers would prove significant.
In the second half Portia Woodman hammered Sharni Williams, but in the aftermath Niall Williams was yellow-carded. And with the player advantage, Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea put on the old inside-out run, drew the cover and Faith Nathan had the simplest of finishes for Australia. Levi got her third and Williams converted.
One way traffic? Not for long, as Alena Saili broke through to create a Shiray Kaka score. Pouri-Lane converted. Then Saili went over herself right at the death. It was 24-22. Get a conversion and extra time – and golden point – beckoned.
But with the pressure on and the heartbeats thumping over the stadium tannoy, Tennika Willison slide her drop-kick wide, to end the contest and hand the Australians their second first World Cup title. A cruel twist of sporting fate.
Something to jump up and dance about, maybe, but the team in gold fell to the ground in an outburst of joy.
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