Old rivals meet in Hong Kong final
Hong Kong
April 1, 2001

New Zealand snatched victory from Australia in the dying stages to advance to the final of the Hong Kong Sevens.

Karl Te Nana crossed for two superb tries, with the last in injury time, to give the Kiwis a gripping 14-12 victory.

Australia began well with a good handling movement to send Julian Huxley over for the first try after only 20 seconds. Tim Donnelly added the conversion.

The remainder of the first half was a defensive battle not helped by the referee's lack of willingness to play the advantage.

Midway through the second half, Aussie skipper Richard Graham outpaced his opponent down the right wing to break the defensive deadlock.

Donnelly missed the conversion from the touchline but Australia held a 12-0 lead.

Australian coach Glen Ella then introduced Alan McDonald and Jason Ramsamy into the fray. The changes appeared to be the right ingredient as the Kiwis were driven back towards their own line.

Then in a momentary defensive lapse New Zealand spotted a hole and Jared Going made a strong break, before offloading to his team mate in support. Te Nana was then fed the ball to run clear and cross for the five-pointer under the posts.

Both sides went all out for victory in the final moments. And Te Nana, in a brilliant individual contribution, stepped and weaved his way past three Australian defenders to post the try leading to the decisive conversion points.

In the Cup final, New Zealand will meet traditional rivals Fiji who downed Samoa 12-10 in the first semi.

Australia had beaten Argentina 35-7 in the quarter-finals, while New Zealand downed South Africa 19-0.

In the Bowl, new boys West Indies advanced to the final against Hong Kong, after knockout wins over Thailand and Chinese Taipei.

As for the teams from the UK, Wales beat China easily then France 24-7 to get through to the Plate final, but England lost out to Fiji, 7-22, in the last eight of the Cup.

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