New Zealand beat Australia 17-14 to claim Canada Sevens and extend World Rugby Sevens lead
Last Updated: 09/03/20 11:03am
Joe Ravouvou crossed twice as New Zealand rallied from a nine-point deficit to edge Australia 17-14 in the Canada Sevens final and extend its lead in the World Rugby Sevens series.
New Zealand scored while their old rivals were reduced to five men to secure a 17-14 comeback win in the final, claiming their third title of the season so far.
Ravouvou scored the second of his two tries while Australia's Maurice Longbottom and Lachie Miller were in the sin-bin, though the All Blacks Sevens ended the game with six players after Scott Dixon was also shown a yellow card.
New Zealand, who also won the Hamilton and Cape Town legs of the World Series, now lead South Africa by 11 points in the overall standings with four rounds remaining.
The eventual winners faced a tough road to the final, having to beat Olympic champion Fiji in the quarter-finals and LA Sevens winner South Africa in the semis.
However, they won both matches, beating Fiji 17-5 and South Africa 27-15 reversing the result of the previous weekend's semifinals in Los Angeles.
The Australlians beat England 31-12 in the quarter-finals and hosts Canada 19-14 in the semis. The hosts did give the crowd something to cheer about though as they beat South Africa 26-19 for the bronze medal.
It was Canada's first podium finish in the series since winning in Singapore in 2017.
In the final, Australia led 14-5 after a dominant first half in which they scored tries through Lachie Anderson and Longbottom, while Ravouvou scored his first for New Zealand.
Andrew Knewstub scored from an intercept, then Ravouvou added his second as New Zealand edged ahead in a tight second half to claim its first Canada title since 2016.
New Zealand now lead the standings with 115 points, with South Africa second and reigning series champions Fiji in third. Australia moved into fourth with 81 points, four ahead of fifth-placed England.
Elsewhere, Scotland secured ninth place with a 12-7 win over France, while Ireland's 31-26 victory over Argentina saw them placed 13th. Argentina had earlier beaten Wales 31-7 in the 13th place semi-final.