Etene Nanai-Seturo and Regan Ware scored first half tries to ensure New Zealand regained the Commonwealth Games men’s rugby sevens gold with a 14-0 victory over Fiji, while a sensational Kelly Brazier effort gave their women a maiden title.
Brazier’s 60-metre dash in extra time to complete a 17-12 win over the Rio Olympics champions Australia had silenced a boisterous local crowd at Robina Stadium on April 15, so they switched their support to Fiji for the men’s decider. New Zealand quietened them once more by jumping out to a 14-0 lead against the Rio champions inside the first four minutes.
New Zealand even had an opportunity to put the game completely beyond doubt when Fiji’s Sevuloni Mocenecagi was given a yellow card for an early tackle on Sam Dickson. The champions put Ware across as Mocenecagi watched on from off the field to extend their lead to 19-0, only for the try to be ruled out when a video replay showed the 23-year-old had lost control of the ball over the line.
The women’s final was also characterized by a strong first half performance from New Zealand and some desperate defense before Brazier stepped up to end home hopes of victory. Brazier’s effort, however, would have been in vain had Michaela Blyde, who scored one of New Zealand’s two tries in the first half, not produced two cover tackles as Australia pressed in the second half. New Zealand had opened up a 12-0 halftime lead after tries to Portia Woodman and Blyde, before Emilee Cherry exploited some poor tackling close to the line and Ellia Green outpaced the cover defense to send the contest into extra time.