New Zealand Women Win First Ever HSBC Cape Town Sevens

(Photo by Melanie Cornelius/Speedshots.co.za)

New Zealand were crowned the inaugural HSBC Cape Town Sevens champions after beating long-time rivals Australia 17-7 in the final on 15 December.

The success, their 24th in 40 events since the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series began in 2012-13, follows hot on the heels of another historic victory in Dubai last weekend, when the Black Ferns Sevens became the first team to win back-to-back titles in the desert.

New Zealand stuttered past Fiji and Russia in the pool stages and needed sudden-death extra-time to beat England in quarter-finals, but found the performances when they needed to overcome Canada and then Australia to win the tournament.

The series champions had made the better start to the 16th Cup final meeting between the two most successful women's teams, Kelly Brazier stepping her way through the Australia defence to score the opening try and pass through the 500-point milestone in the process.

New Zealand sit top of the standings after three of the eight rounds with 56 points, six more than Australia with USA third on 48 points after finishing fifth in Cape Town.

Canada are in fourth, with 44 points, after beating fifth placed France in sudden-death extra-time to win the bronze medal and avenge their loss in the Pool B decider the day before.