New Zealand take Commonwealth Gold
March 17, 2006

England were unable to topple an impressive New Zealand side in the Gold medal match at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne on Friday.

It was England's first ever medal at a Commonwealth Games but for New Zealand it vcompleted a gold medal trebble - with the New Zealanders unbeaten in the last three Commonwealth Games.

Cory Jane scored first for New Zealand but Valence failed to convert. England's leading try scorer Mathew Tait didn't disappoint the crowd and scored, successfully converted by Simon Amor.
The All Blacks came back with two more before the break (Blackie and Raikabula) meaning England trailed 15-7 at the break.

Replacement Andy Vilk scored early in the second half but New Zealand proved they were not going to let England steal their Commonwealth crown and Liam Messam and Josh Blackie's tries sealed England's fate. A last minute try from Ben Gollings closed the gap but it was too little too late for England and the players had to settle for silver on this occasion.

Speaking after the game, England Sevens Coach Mike Friday said, "We have a massive mixture of emotions right now. Normally you don't get anything for losing a final so it feels bit strange. We came here for gold and the boys set their standards very high. They are young lads and a number of them have taken massive steps forward in their development over the past few days which is a great thing. From that perspective the tournament has undoubtedly been a success. We have had the re-emergence of Mathew Tait for the world to see, Tom Varndell has come on a lot and then the likes of Dave Seymour and Magnus Lund to name but a few have been outstanding.

I can't fault the boys in terms of their commitment and the way they conducted themselves on and off the pitch, in often very pressurized environments. The New Zealanders just edged it a bit in the final and deserved to win."

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