As it happened: Blitzboks claim Wellington title for first time since 2002, All Blacks Sevens slump to sixth

8:55pm: That wraps up the Wellington Sevens for another year. A fantastic tournament for the likes of Scotland and Canada but a poor finish for the All Blacks Sevens after showing such promise yesterday. The series now heads to Sydney next weekend with South Africa well and truly sitting top of the table after a commanding weekend.

8:50pm: South Africa 26 v Fiji 5 - Cup FINAL

It's a glorious gold for South Africa as Seabelo Senatla achieves his own personal milestone in become the top try scorer of all time for the Blitzboks with 180. They're Champions in Wellington for the first time since 2002, and they stretch their lead at the top of the HSBC 2016-17 Sevens Series standings.

8:40pm: Halftime: South Africa 7 v Fiji 5 - Cup FINAL

Two points and a Fiji yellow card is all that separates the two teams. Both giving it their all so far!

8:18pm: Scotland 28 v Canada 22 - 3rd Place

Scotland the Brave!  Canada held the lead with 30s to go but James Fleming seals the day with his third try of the game and carries Scotland to bronze. They are already celebrating on the pitch and can you really blame them? The hat-trick hero says it was a full squad effort that produced this weekend's result. "It was an enjoyable game, it was a whole squad effort. We have been building for the last two years, new coach, consistent squad, and Twickenham gave us belief. We’re looking forward to the next one. We are hitting quarters and semis consistently now and it is awesome to have the squad we do."

7:48pm: NZL 12-17 ARG

TRY! Pumas win it at the death as NZL choke up the ball with pass to who knows inside their own half. The ball goes to ground and Argentina grubber it on and they're in as the hooter goes. That's that then. Two more games to go - Scotland v Canada for 3rd and South Africa v Fiji for the cup!

7:46pm: NZL 12-12 ARG

TRY! All Blacks Sevens with a costly turnover i ntheir own 22 after they are penalised for not releasing the pill. Argentina jump on it and score far right corner. Game on with a minute to go!

7:42pm: NZL 12-7 ARG

TRY! Curry's in after the ABs Sevens get a penalty inside Argentina's 22 for offside. The setpiece is a double cut and Curry comes onto the second change of direction at pace and there's no stopping him 5m out. NZ back in front!

7:39pm: NZL 5-7 ARG

Koroi shows another piece of magic to get into open field before delivering a no-look flick pass to Curry. Curry is brought down on Argentina's forty and he knocks it on! Halftime.

7:37pm: NZL 5-7 ARG

TRY! Argentina keep attacking up the middle of the field and it pays off as the black wall crumbles. good forty metres gained from relentlessly running off the rucks and it results in a try under the posts.

7:32pm: NZL 5-0 ARG

TRY! Simple draw and pass play off a scrum inside Argentina's 22 and Koroi is over on the far right. Good start from NZL!

7:30pm: NZL 0-0 ARG 

We're underway in the fifth place final. Argentina to kick off.Mikkelson is injured early and it looks like a finger or thumb dislocation. He's on the side getting addressed to.

7:20pm: Kenya 19 v Australia 17 - Trophy FINAL

WHAT A FINISH! Kenya was up 19-12 with seconds to go before a costly turnover gives Australia the ball in Kenya's half. Australia apply pressure and get a penalty close to the line. They take it quickly and dot down right in the left corner for a tough conversion. The drop kick goes up and it's beautiful, it's got the length but it curls away from the right post and it's just wide! Kenya claim the trophy in another stunning final! More of this to come please!

6:46pm: Russia 12 v Samoa 19 - 13th Place FINAL

Tietjens' men finish on a high note in another physical match. Samoa had nearly double the tackles than their European opponents but they didn't budge in the final moments. Samoan captain Tila Mealoi wrapped up their weekend saying they are still developing under the Kiwi coach. "I'm proud of my team, it's quite young and there are a few new guys in the team. We are really happy and really proud. We have given a springboard to the new guys, and we are now working on some structure with Sir Gordon. There is a big improvement in our fitness, which is the first thing we are looking at."

6:03pm: Canada 5 v South Africa 21 - Cup SF

The Blitzboks were just too fast. Ans when Canada realised that and went physical, the South Africans beat them at the breakdowns too. Clinical performance from South Africa as it has been all tournament. We are in for two thrilling matches to close the tournament. The final will be at 8:30pm.

5:43pm: Scotland 12 v Fiji 19 - Cup SF

Heartbreaking for the Scots. They held a five point lead with two minutes to go but the Flying Fijians find the line twice. You can't help but feel for the Scots. They were playing brilliant rugby but their opponents find a second gear and took the lead with 30s to go before a penalty on the hooter saw them tap and gap for another try to secure it with a statement. Brilliant match regardless. Up next is Canada and South Africa. Can the Canadians do the unthinkable?

5:13pm: Argentina 19 v France 14 - 5th Place SF

So it'll be Argentina that takes on the All Blacks Sevens in the 5th place final. The Los Pumas Sevens made twice as many tackles as France but never let that defence fall in crucial times. 

4:50pm: NZL 24-0 ENG

TRY! Stowers goes in in the far right corner on the fulltime hooter and that's a performance much more like yesterday's dominance. All Blacks Sevens looked the better team the entire match and discipline let England down big time. Easily man of the match has to go tou youngster Koroi. His first ever Sevens Series and he is proving to be quite the playmaker. NZL now wait on the winner of Argentina v France to find their opponent for the 5th place final.

4:42pm: NZL 17-0 ENG

TRY! That might just be the nail in the coffin! Beautiful skip pass again from Koroi and it's Iopu-Aso is over the chalk in the left corner. 

4:38pm: NZL 12-0 ENG

TRY! Set piece inside the 22 off a penalty tap and Ware is the benefactor this time from another great pass by Koroi. The youngster is playing superb! That takes us to halftime.

4:33pm: NZL 7-0 ENG

TRY! The captain's in under the posts! Brilliant hands on a play that started in their own 22! Koroi breaks away and gets a flashy pass off to his skipper to score. Great start!

4:30pm: NZL 0-0 ENG - 5th Place SF

We're back underway in the Cake Tin with the All Blacks Sevens hoping to make fans happy again after a tough loss to Fiji this morning ended their hopes of defending their Wellington title. ENG to kick off.

3:42pm: Australia 24 v Wales 10 - Trophy SF

McDermott and Taylor have led a fiery performance by the Australians to book a Trophy final with Kenya after seeing off Wales. Both youngsters were aggressive from the first whistle and happy to take risks to break the line to claim the win - it worked.

3:18pm: Kenya 19 v USA 12 - Trophy SF

Kenya have held on against the USA in a thrilling, flying trophy semi-final. Both teams making impressive breaks but chsed down by some of the fastest in the game. That ends USA's tournament while Kenya now wait to face either Australia or Wales.

2:55pm: Tietjens' Samoa get the job done convincingly with a 35-7 win over Papua New Guinea. Too many line breaks to keep track of and it's an easy win. They'll face Russia for 13th place.

2:36pm: Russia come out ahead of Japan in a physical 15-5 clash. Russia smothered Japan's chances by keeping ball in hand for most part of the 13th place semi final. They will now play the winner of this next match between Papua New Guinea and Samoa.

2.05pm - South Africa 45 v France 0 - Cup QF

The Blitzbokke have thrashed the French 45-0, looking to be the hot favourites in the tournament now with NZ going down to the Fijians earlier in the afternoon.  

1.47pm - Canada 17 v Argentina 12 - Cup QF

The dream run for the Canadians continues after they held out a last attempt by the Argentinians. 

1.22pm - New Zealand 10 v Fiji 26

New Zealand score a consolation try through Tim Mikkelson with the Fijians marching their way to the Cup semis with a dominant win over NZ.

1.18pm - New Zealand 5 v Fiji 26 - Cup QF

TRY! The Fijians dot down for their fourth try of the match and seem to have cemented their place in Cup semi-finals.

1.11pm - New Zealand 5 v Fiji 19 - Cup QF

Second half his underway!

1.09pm - New Zealand 5 v Fiji 19 - Cup QF

TRY! DJ Forbes strikes at the right time going in between two Fijian defenders before dragging one with him over the try line to get NZ on the score board.

1.07pm - New Zealand 0 v Fiji 19 - Cup QF

TRY! Jerry Tuwai feeds the ball into the scrum then races away to score Fiji's third try.

1.04pm - New Zealand 0 v Fiji 14 - Cup QF

TRY! Joeli Lutumailagi leaves the NZ side for dead, proving unstoppable flying down the left flank and then scoring his second under the posts.

1.02pm - New Zealand 0 v Fiji 7 - Cup QF

TRY! Joeli Lutumailagi puts the foot down and gasses the Kiwis to score the first try of the match - amazing speed shown by the Fijian flyer.

1.00pm - New Zealand 0 v Fiji 0 - Cup QF 

And we are underway!

12.58pm -  Scotland have upset powerhouse England 14-12 and are through to the Cup semi-finals. 

A tough match with England scoring a last minute try, but a missed conversion hands Scotland a spot in the semis. 

12.38pm - England v Scotland - Cup QF

12.25pm - Ausralia survive a little scare from the valiant Samoans who led at the break 14-12.

But the Australians were patient in the second spell taking their time to build phases before scoring out wide to win the match 17-14.

The Samoan side had a few try scoring opportunities in the second half but just couldn't hold onto the pill long enough when they got into the Aussies 22.

Credit goes to Australia's desperate defence holding out the Pacific nation, as they move onto the Trophy semi-finals. 

12.06pm - Ausralia v Samoa - Trophy QF

12.03pm - Wales have flexed their muscles cruising to a 29-7 win over Papua New Guinea.

PNG started off strongly but they weren't able to keep up with the Welsh who scored five tries to their one.

11.45am -Wales v PNG - Trophy QF

11.42am - USA trailed Japan at the break 14-7 but fought their way back to beat Japan 19-14.

USA were lucky to escape with a win with one of their players being sent to the bin for a dangerous tackle in the final moments of the match.

Japan butchered their chance of advancing into the Trophy semi-finals when they were awarded a penalty after the hooter had gone. USA fought hard to get a turnover in the final moments of the match and kicked the ball into touch to secure their spot in the Trophy semi-finals.  

11.23am - USA v Japan - Trophy QF

11.21am - A scrappy second half from both sides and Kenya come out on top 24-5 over Russia. With either side only managing a try each in the second half.

11.09am - Kenya haven't had much ball in the first spell but have made most of their opportunities with possession against Russia.

Kenya have scored three tries and lead the Russians 17-0 at halftime.

New Zealand's Sevens player Sherwin Stowers against France, Day 1, World Rugby Sevens series, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand. Saturday, 28 January, 2017. Copyright photo: John Cowpland /
New Zealand's Sevens player Sherwin Stowers. Source: Photosport

11am - Kenya v Russia - Trophy QF


New Zealand have had an excellent first day out at the Wellington Sevens, winning all three of their pool matches against Samoa, France and USA.

Young recruits Isaac Te Tamaki and Vilimoni Koroi have been outstanding for the home side, showcasing their incredible speed and footwork in their 24-12 win over USA last night.  

Veterans Scott Curry, Tim Mikkelson and DJ Forbes showed their worth, creating havoc in the breakdowns and exposing weaknesses in their opponents defence, putting their teammates into space.

New Zealand meet Fiji in their Cup quarterfinal match today at 1pm. A real tough test for the Kiwis taking on the Rio Olympic gold medallists, who only lost to in form South Africa 31-12 on day one.  

NZ team for Wellington: Scott Curry (captain), Dylan Collier, DJ Forbes, Iopu Iopu-Aso, Rocky Khan, Vilimoni Koroi, Tim Mikkelson, Sione Molia, Tone Ng Shiu, Sherwin Stowers, Isaac Te Tamaki, Regan Ware.

11.09am - Kenya haven't had much ball in the first spell but have made most of their opportunities with possession against  Russia.
11.09am - Kenya haven't had much ball in the first spell but have made most of their opportunities with possession against  Russia.
11.09am - Kenya haven't had much ball in the first spell but have made most of their opportunities with possession against  Russia.
1.04pm - New Zealand 0 v Fiji 14 - Cup QF
1.04pm - New Zealand 0 v Fiji 14 - Cup QF
1.11pm - New Zealand 5 v Fiji 19 - Cup QF
1.11pm - New Zealand 5 v Fiji 19 - Cup QF
1.18pm - New Zealand 5 v Fiji 26 - Cup QF
1.18pm - New Zealand 5 v Fiji 26 - Cup QF

'He's a little dog' - Kiwi UFC fighter Mark Hunt unloads verbal tirade on 'weak minded' drug cheat Fabricio Werdrum

New Zealand mixed martial arts veteran Mark Hunt has unleashed a tirade of verbal assaults at former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum ahead of his bout at UFC Fight Night in Russia.

Hunt is headlining the UFC event at Moscow's Olympic Stadium, set to fight Alexei Oleinik on Sunday (NZ time).

He told media he was excited to fight in Russia and was extra pleased to fight someone close to his age.

"He's a clean fighter, so it's great,” said Hunt.

The 44-year-old has had a long battle against performance enhancing drugs after facing a rivals who had failed tests, namely former champion Brock Lesnar.

Hunt unloaded a war of words on Werdum after he was handed a two-year suspension by the US Anti-Doping Agency.

"I'm glad that Fabricio Werdum got caught, that little b****," said Hunt.

"Go back to the favelas. F*** you, you little c***. Good job. He was supposed to be here, but that's what you get for being weak. That's what you get, Fabricio, for being a weak-minded person. See you later."

Mark Hunt v Fabricio Werdum Source: Associated Press

Werdum was meant to face Oleinik in Russia but was withdrawn after an out-of-competition test conducted in April showed the steroid trenbolone and metabolite epitrenbolone in his sample.

Hunt has fought several fighters who have failed drug tests - Lesnar, Frank Mir and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.

His UFC 180 fight with Werdum is topical, with the Brazilian fighter going on to win the UFC's interim heavyweight belt and then going on to beat Cain Velasquez for the undisputed heavyweight title.

"I had to lose 21 kilograms in three and a half weeks to make that a title fight," Hunt said.

"I got kneed in the head by that little cheater. Then he beats Cain in Mexico. That really upsets me about that guy.

"Then he wouldn't fight me – he's just a cheating little b***, man. He's a little dog, that guy. See you later, Fabricio. Enjoy, mother f*****.”

Hunt has a MMA record of 13 wins 12 losses and 1 draw with eight wins in the UFC, six losses and one no contest bout.


New Kiwi baseball team attempting to lure young Black Sox softball star

The manager of New Zealand's first professional baseball team is trying to lure one of the country's best softball players back to the other side.

Steve Mintz is in the country ahead of trials for the Auckland Tuatara in three main centres this weekend and says they want Pita Rona there.

“I reached out to him and he showed some interest,” Mintz told 1 NEWS.

“We’re hoping he comes out and we’ll see what he’s got.”

Rona was tipped for big things in baseball after signing a contract with the Baltimore Orioles but he was released after two years in 2014.

The 24-year-old recently arrived back in New Zealand after touring Europe with the World Champion Black Sox where he helped the side win the Intercontinental Cup in Prague.

The Auckland Tuatara have invited Pita Rona to trials this weekend. Source: 1 NEWS


Olympic legend Usain Bolt goes airborne as he runs in zero gravity

Was it a bird? A plane?

No, Usain Bolt's latest publicity stunt.

The eight-time Olympic gold medalist took a zero-gravity flight over France today, courtesy of a champagne producer.

Taking a break from his efforts to become a professional football player, Bolt said he felt like a "kid in a candy store" after spending about four minutes floating and joking around in near-weightless conditions.

Aboard the Airbus A310 plane, the 32-year-old Jamaican caught a free-floating globule of champagne in his mouth and ran in low-gravity conditions.

The eight-time Olympic gold medallist took a zero-gravity flight in France, promoting a champagne brand. Source: Reuters