Kiwis crowned World Sevens Series champs
May 28, 2000

New Zealand beat Australia 24-7 here onn Sunday to qualify for the final of the Cup and were assured of being the inaugural World Sevens Series champions even if they lose to South Africa, who beat Argentina 19-14, in the final.

New Zealand, who ran in four tries to Australia's one, benefitted from Fiji's shock quarter-final defeat at the hands of Argentina earlier on Sunday.

Even if Fiji, who came into the tournament as leaders and only needed to make the semi-finals, win the Bowl final against France they will not muster enough points to overhaul New Zealand.

Justin Wilson opened the score with a superb solo effort coming in off the left wing and with a jink of his hips took himself past the last Australian defender to touch down under the posts for his sixth try of the weekend.

The Kiwis could have been further ahead at halftime but for a marvellous try saving tackle by Brendan Williams on Brad Fleming two metres short of the line.

Within a minute of the second-half Australia were level as Cameron Pither, of whom great things are expected at XV level, sold a dummy and broke through Karl Te'Nana's tackle to go in under the posts for his fifth of the weekend.

However, New Zealand stormed back and having created the overlap Amasio Valence went in to touchdown to restore their lead and then Te'Nana got his own back on the Australians by breaking through two tackles to touchdown - leaving them flat on their backs and the extravagantly-hairstyled Te'Nana celebrated by raising his arms to the Kiwi fans in the crowd.

Jared Going rubbed salt into their bitter rivals wounds with a final second try and the players were lauded off the pitch with a traditional Maori dance which fortunately for the performers was in the sunshine and not the rain that had poured down during the match.

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