New Zealand have retained their Commonwealth Games Rugby Sevens title after defeating Australia 24-17 in a thrilling final to claim the gold medal in Delhi today.
In a tense and exciting climax, the New Zealanders fought back from 17-7 down with late tries from Sevens World Series stars Sherwin Stowers, captain DJ Forbes and Kurt Baker to secure a fourth successive gold medal.
Despite the heartbreak for a young and impressive Australian side, they return home with a first ever Commonwealth Games silver medal.
South Africa dramatically claimed the bronze medal in a hard fought 17-14 victory against England, who had defeated World Series champions Samoa in the quarter finals.
Samoa bounced back to win the Plate final, defeating Scotland 34-0 at the Delhi University Stadium, while Papua New Guinea shocked Canada 17-10 in the final of the Bowl competition.
The competition, the first major international Rugby Sevens event to be staged in India, underlined the Sport’s ability to reach out to new fans in emerging Rugby markets with a vibrant crowd enjoying two days of competition.
“The tournament once again demonstrated Rugby Sevens’ stature as a Sport that is able to attract new fans around the world due to its winning blend of world class athletes, highly-competitive action and festival atmosphere,” said IRB Chief Executive Mike Miller, who was in Delhi.
“India is an emerging Rugby market, but I am impressed by the way that the locals have wholeheartedly embraced Rugby Sevens, enthusiastically getting behind their team and the other teams throughout the competition.”
Attention now turns to the start of the 2010/11 HSBC Sevens World Series, which kicks off with the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens on 3-4 December.