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Argentina And Australia Win Their First Cape Town Sevens Titles – News18

Published By: Sports Desk

Last Updated: December 11, 2023, 01:30 IST

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Argentina’s men and Australia’s women won their first sevens titles in Cape Town on Sunday and lead the world series.

CAPE TOWN, South Africa: Argentina’s men and Australia’s women won their first sevens titles in Cape Town on Sunday and lead the world series.

The Argentines blew away Australia 45-12 in the men’s final, a week after reaching their first Dubai final. In this calendar year and including last season, Argentina has appeared in eight of 10 finals, more than any other team. Its progress since winning the Olympic bronze medal in Tokyo in 2021 signals it is gunning for a medal upgrade at the Paris Games at the end of this series.

The Australian women were the first Olympic winners in 2016 but missed out in Tokyo. They’re on track to medal in Paris after going two for two in finals in this series, following Dubai last weekend with Cape Town. Australia overcame a red card to leading try-scorer Maddison Levi in the final to beat France 29-26.

France upset New Zealand, the defending two-time Cape Town champion, in the semifinals to reach its first final since January. Then it was overwhelmed, initially, by Australia, which forced ruck turnovers.

Tries by Levi — a pair — Faith Nathan and Sharni Smale gave Australia a 22-0 lead after six minutes. France rallied in extra time with a pair of Anne-Cecile Ciofani tries to close to 22-14 and a bonus of starting the new half with an extra player.

Levi was red-carded for a shoulder hit to the head of Camille Grassineau. Australia also conceded a red card against France in the Dubai semifinals and prevailed.

France closed to 22-19 in Cape Town with a try by captain Carla Neisen from Caroline Drouin’s cross-field kick, but Kaitlin Shave secured victory for Australia by beating Ciofani and scoring between the posts with a minute left.

The French came within three again after Joanna Grisez’s converted try but the restart kick went too deep to contest and Australia celebrated.

The men’s final became one-sided after Australia captain Nick Malouf was sin-binned. By halftime Argentina was up 28-0. German Schulz scored from an intercept, Santiago Mare scooped up a kind bounce, and Marcos Moneta went over followed by Matias Osadczuk.

Australia sent on Dietrich Roache who set up one try and scored another to make it 28-12, but Argentina’s class came through with three more tries; a second for Osadczuk from a step and fend, then Tomas Elizalde after he toed on a loose pass, and finally captain Santiago Alvarez from an overlap.

Perth, Australia, hosts the next leg in January.


AP rugby:

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Associated Press)

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