Black Ferns Sevens create history, win back-to-back World Cup titles

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live coverage of day two of the Rugby World Cup Sevens at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Watch all the action live here. Every game of the men's and women's Rugby World Cup Sevens will be live from July 21-23 on TVNZ's Duke channel - Freeview 13, Sky 23, and streaming on tvnz.co.nz.

3:30pm

The Black Ferns have their hands on the trophy, a large number of the crowd have stayed behind to celebrate with the Kiwis. That'll be all from us today.

Be sure to join us again tomorrow, as the men's final will be decided. New Zealand face Fiji, while South Africa and England will go head to head for a spot in the final.

3:17pm: NZ 29 France 0

TRY!!! We're into the final minute, and France have knoced the ball on. NZ feed the scrum, and the ball moves to Blyde who breaks through again! A hat-trick in the final for Michaela Blyde!

The conversion is good, and that's fulltime. The Black Ferns sevens are champions of the world once again!

3:15pm: NZ 22 France 0

TRY!!! Portia Woodman comes up with a blistering run down the left! She's tackled short of the line, but NZ move the ball! Blyde gets the ball and goes straight through two defenders to score her second of the match!

Nathan-Wong converts this time.

3:13pm: NZ 15 France 0

A break in play now as Coralie Bertrand stays down injured. France have the restart, but time is running out for them.

3:10pm: NZ 15 France 0

France break, but Ruby Tui forces a turnover and NZ can break! France win a penalty though as Broughton doesn't release.

3:08pm: NZ 15 France 0

Nathan-Wong gets the second half underway! NZ just seven minutes from history.

3:06pm: NZ 15 France 0

TRY!!! France give away a penalty for not allowing the play-the-ball on Blyde. Nathan-Wong takes it quickly, and races over to score in the corner!

Brilliant awareness from Nathan-Wong! She can't convert her own try, that's halftime too.

3:04pm: NZ 10 France 0

TRY!!! Portia Woodman scores! The most dangerous sight in rugby - Woodman unmarked wide on the right. She gets the ball in space, before holding off the first defender, and beating the second to score!

Nathan-Wong can't add the conversions though.

3:02pm: NZ 5 France 0

France on attack now, but NZ win a penalty and look to run the ball out of their own half. Nathan-Wong is clobbered in the tackle as France look to use a rush defence.

Sarah Goss breaks through with the space open at the back! She's tackled, but finds Portia Woodman. France get back and defend well.

2:59pm: NZ 5 France 0

TRY!!! A brilliant run up the middle from Niall Williams puts Michaela Blyde through! The French don't get back to hold her after the tackle, and NZ open the scoring! Tyla Nathan-Wong can't get the conversion though.

2:57pm: KICKOFF - NZ 0 France 0

We're away! France get the final started and NZ look to run the ball straight away.

2:53pm

We'll have the national anthems before kick-off. God Defend New Zealand is up first, followed by La Marseillaise.

2:50pm

Australia claim the bronze, they beat the USA 24-14. Next up, the women's final, where the Black Ferns look to become the first team in history to seal back-to-back World Cups.

2:31pm

The bronze medal match is about to kick off. Hosts USA face the Australians.

2:29pm

Spain and Ireland are locked at 7-7 for the entire second half. Spain have a scrum on the five-metre line as the last play. They go wide and they've scored in the corner! Spain will finish fifth.

Final score 12-7 to Spain.

2:09pm

Ireland and Spain play off for fifth and sixth respectively.

2:07pm

Canada take seventh place, despite a final play consolation try to Russia. Final score 22-10 to Canada.

1:46pm

Russia and Canada will now face off for seventh and eighth place in the women's Championship.

1:45pm

England take the Challenge final with a convincing 31-5 win over Japan.

1:25pm

Now time for the Challenge final in the women's draw. England face Japan.

1:23pm

Fiji blow China off the park in the women's 11th/12th play-off, coming away winners 38-0.

1:00pm

Playing for 11th and 12th, are Fiji and China.

12:58pm

Brazil take the win, and 13th place. They come away with a dominant 22-0 victory over South Africa.

12:36pm

South Africa and Brazil play now in the match for 13th/14th.

12:34pm

PNG have steamrolled Mexico, winning 32-0.

12:12pm

Back to the women's draw now, and Mexico face Papua New Guinea.

12:08pm

England have broken the USA's hearts, coming up with a brilliant crossfield kick to see them runaway and score. They advance as 24-19 winners.

12:04pm

The USA have come back from 19-7 down, levelling scores at 19-all in the final minute. England looking for the winner here. No one can get the winner though - this quarter-final is going to extra time!

11:44am

The USA and England will now face off in the last of the quarter-finals, the winner will face South Africa.


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Watch: All Blacks prop Nepo Laulala shows off scars from broken arm as he prepares for rugby return

After nearly seven months on the sidelines, All Blacks prop Nepo Laulala is firming for his return to action, named on the bench for Counties' Mitre 10 Cup season finale against Canterbury on Saturday.

Having cemented his spot in the All Blacks' front row towards the end of 2017, Laulala's season was derailed just two weeks into his 2018 campaign, suffering a broken arm playing for the Chiefs. 

However, after a long road to recovery, Laulala is just one of three All Blacks front rowers to make their returns this weekend, with the Counties prop having seen the silver lining in his time away from rugby.

"It feels like an eternity," he began.

"I'm just really grateful for the time I got with my family - especially my wife. We're expecting our first child, (I'm) just trying to stay on the positive side of it all."

This isn't Laulala's first brush with serious injury, snapping three ligaments in 2015, ruled out for a year afterwards and fearing he'd never play again.

The burly front rower has used his experience though, helping him to come back stronger for a second time.

"I've been through some pretty intense trainings lately."

"This is my first full week with the boys. I'm going for whatever minutes I get, even if I get five minutes, I'll just be grateful to get back on the field, and just get an opportunity again."

Laulala will make his Counties debut, should he come off the bench.

After injury at the start of Super Rugby, Laulala will play for Counties this week. Source: 1 NEWS


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Beauden Barrett 'still the number one' first-five over Richie Mo'unga, says Dan Carter

All Blacks great Dan Carter has thrown his support firmly behind Beauden Barrett as the first-choice in the number 10 jersey heading into next year's World Cup, following Richie Mo'unga's heroics against South Africa last weekend.

Coming off the bench in the second half in Pretoria, Mo'unga proved to be the All Blacks' saviour, slotting a conversion after the final whistle to steal the win after his side had been 30-13 down to the resurgent Springboks.

With Barrett having moved to fullback to accommodate Mo'unga's inclusion, debate has begun to arise as to whether or not the twice reigning World Player of the Year stay in the number 15 jersey, allowing for both stars to play at the same time though.

Speaking on Newstalk ZB this morning though, Carter said that the All Blacks need to persist with Barrett as the creative linchpin of the side.

Mo'unga is set to start in the No.10 jersey against Argentina in Nelson. Source: 1 NEWS

"He's still the number one 10 but to have the competition with Richie there, and when the time is right in certain games for Beaudie to go to the back and Richie come on and add another string to the backline," he said.

"It's the kind of depth and competition you want in a squad.

"For me Beaudie is still the leader in that All Blacks side and what he's achieved in the last three or four years has been incredible."

Carter also praised Mo'unga's emergence as a genuine world class player, having steered the Crusaders to back to back Super Rugby titles.

"I'm extremely proud of Richie and the way he's progressed over the last couple of years. I worked with him down at the Crusaders and he's got such a clear head. He doesn't let pressure get to him as we saw in the weekend.

"The fact he's putting Beaudie under a lot of pressure is great."
 

Barrett unselfishly let young Mo'unga take the game winning kick against South Africa. Source: 1 NEWS


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Wayne Barnes to referee All Blacks v Ireland, Jerome Garces takes charge of clash with England

All Blacks may not be happy with the refereeing appointments for this year's end of year northern hemisphere tour, with Jerome Garces and Wayne Barnes to officiate New Zealand's clashes against Europe's best.

Barnes, 39, has earned the ire of All Blacks fans in the past, famously missing a forward pass against France that led to New Zealand's elimination from the 2007 World Cup in Cardiff.

He will take charge of the All Blacks' clash against world number two Ireland in Dublin on November 18 NZT.

Meanwhile, French referee Garces, 44, who showed Sonny Bill Williams a straight red card in last year's second Test against the British and Irish Lions, will officiate the much anticipated Test between the All Blacks and England at Twickenham on November 11.

The All Blacks' end-of-year tour begins on November 3 against Japan in Tokyo.

Referee Wayne Barnes.
2nd Bledisloe Cup Test of the 2018 Investec Rugby Championship.
New Zealand All Blacks v Australia (Wallabies) at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand on 25 August 2018.
Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz
Rugby referee Wayne Barnes. Source: Photosport


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'We've discussed what we need to change' - Michael Cheika happy with Wallabies coaching staff

Michael Cheika isn't convinced personnel changes to the Wallabies coaching staff are needed in order for the team to climb back up world rugby's pecking order.

Slipping to a historic low of seventh, the Wallabies coach will next week present to the Rugby Australia board his plan to improve the team's performance ahead of next year's World Cup.

Cheika didn't believe sweeping changes to his set-up were required but is looking for greater collaboration from the Super Rugby franchises.

"We've discussed what we need to change internally and I think before we go chopping guys or changing things around you need to understand what we need to change internally to make a difference because maybe what we were doing before hasn't achieved the same outcome," Cheika told Fox Sports' Kick and Chase.

"You need to give the opportunity for changes to sink in and make a difference."

Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle also appeared in a pre-recorded interview and floated the idea of a head selector.

Cheika said he hadn't had any discussions about such an appointment.

"No-one's spoken to me about that ... I will say this though, I'm not just picking numbers out of a hat - I take advice from coaches who've been in the job in the past," he said.

"I'm always taking counsel on those things and I think more often than not we're making the right calls."

Cheika said he was looking for more buy-in from Super Rugby sides, hinting at the frustration of the Brumbies choosing to play three Wallabies just before the June Ireland series when he wanted them rested.

"There's no doubt that the more we can collaborate with Super Rugby with what we can deliver around fitness leading into the international season, that's definitely something we can push for," Cheika said.

"This year we've had moments where we've tried to manage that but we haven't been able to get a handle on it completely.

"But there's a willingness from Super Rugby coaches that I speak with regularly to change and improve so that's the biggest thing."

Cheika also revealed that his famous half-time spray of the players when they were trailing 31-7 against Argentina last weekend didn't include any "technical information".

He said the response was more than just scoring tries, which delivered a 45-34 victory.

"It was a time when it had to get personal ... people have talked about the chat at halftime but you've got go out and do it and they did," Cheika said.

"What they just had to do was understand that this is personal, let's do what we know how to do, do it as best we can, and see what happens."

Castle was happy to see the group respond to Cheika to secure the win but said the question still needed to be asked about the first half performance.

She said that while Cheika had a contract through to the World Cup, the board wanted to see more detail.

"He's the head coach and it's his responsibility to put that plan together and he will be presenting that to the board," she said.

"We want to see what is the plan? What is the plan to recognise that we can see improved performances?"

Psychologist Sara Chatwin has some tips for Michael Cheika, who was left fuming at the weekend.
Michael Cheika Source: Photosport


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