Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018: All Blacks in runaway victory

THUMBS UP: New Zealand cruised to victory in San Francisco.

NEW ZEALAND became the first men’s side to win consecutive Rugby World Cup Sevens titles as they beat England 33-12 in the final on Sunday.

The All Blacks took a 14-0 lead in San Francisco as Sione Molia scored two tries, both converted by Kurt Baker.

A Michael Ellery converted try halved the deficit at half time, before a Joseva Ravouvou score took it to 19-7.

Ruaridh McConnochie hit back for England before Akuila Rokolisoa and Trael Joass secured victory.

Scotland claimed seventh place overall after Jamie Farndale scored two late tries in a 29-24 win against France, while Wales had to settle for their lowest place finish since 2001, coming 11th following a 35-12 win over Canada.

This year’s tournament saw the traditional round-robin stage scrapped in favour of a single-elimination knockout from the opening round of matches.

Australia were a notable first-round casualty in the men’s draw, while England’s women fell at the first hurdle in a surprise defeat by Ireland.

“We’re getting a lot of positive feedback from fans about the drama of knockout,” said World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper, as 102,000 fans attended the event over the three days of competition.

“It makes each game exciting. It can be brutal for teams, but sport’s brutal.”

England head coach Simon Amor said he was “pleased” with how his players adapted to the new structure, but captain Tom Mitchell claims he is “not totally sold on the new format.”

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