Aussies denied gold as NZ nab double

Commonwealth Games - Men
by Sam Phillips

Welcome to RUGBY.com.au's LIVE coverage of finals day at the Commonwealth Games.

Australia's Women have fallen agonisingly short of gold, falling 17-12 in an extra time thriller, while the Aussie Men finished in fifth.

Here's how finals day has panned out so far.

9pm - Friend feeling philosophical after final game in charge

We spoke to Andy Friend after his final match in charge of the Aussie Men.


7:30pm - World Rugby open up

The Women's fixtures stole the show on the Gold Coast and World Rugby are set to unveil another Women's leg on the World Series.

6pm - Walsh, Parry share thoughts on heartbreak at final hurdle

Both Tim Walsh and Shannon Parry spoke to media after the Aussie Women fell agonisingly short at the final hurdle.


4pm - Men's gold medal match - New Zealand 14 Fiji 0

New Zealand have claimed an historic Commonwealth Games double with a 14-0 win over Fiji.

The Kiwis crossed twice in the first half and that was all they needed to claim gold.New Zealand's Men claimed Commonwealth Gold. Photo: Getty ImagesIt was heroic defence which earned them the top prize, a Scott Currie try saver in the second half typifying their tenacity on that side of the ball.

Fiji were gallant but just couldn't break New Zealand's incredible defensive line.

The proud Sevens nation is, remarkably, still yet to claim Commonwealth gold.

3:30pm - Women's gold medal match - New Zealand 17 Australia 12

New Zealand have broken the hearts of the Australian Women's Sevens side, scoring a golden point try to claim gold in an absolute thriller.

It was the most devastating of defeats as Australia had more than their fair share of chances to claim the gold for themselves, falling agonisingly short with each attacking raid at the death.

Here's how the match panned out.

Portia Woodman scored a trademark try to open the scoring, beating Vani Pelite down the left flank before stepping inside an attempted Charlotte Caslick tackle and running 70m to the line.Heartbreak for Dom Du Toit and the Australians. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyMichaela Blyde followed suit, starving the Aussies of the ball and taking a 12-0 lead into the break.

Emma Tonegato was pulled down in the shadows of the line as Australia desperately looked for a response and after an overthrown lineout, Vani Pelite picked the ball off and dished to Emilee Cherry, who scored.

A loose Kiwi carry then turned into another Australian try, Ellia Green brushing a Blyde tackle en route to the line.

But Emma Sykes missed the conversion and that left things poised at 12-all with one minute to play.Ellia Green beat Michaela Blyde en route to the line. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyA bizarre Cassie Staples brain snap then sent the game into extra time when she booted the ball into touch after the siren had rung out, rather than giving the Australians one last chance to score and claim gold.

Extra time was a fitting end tothis thriller.

The two teams went end-to-end for the entirety of the five minute period but it was a 75 metre Kelly Brazier try which sealed the result.

2:53pm - Men's bronze medal match - England 21 South Africa 14

England has snatched the Men's Commonwealth Games bronze medal, with a come-from-behind win over South Africa.

Trailing 14-0 at half-time, the English scored three unanswered tries in the second stanza to snatch the top three finish.

South Africa had the first score of the match in the first minute, in a low-scoring, opening half that ran for close to 11 minutes.England snatched bronze from South Africa. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyRohan Nel stretched their advantage in the shadows of half-time, finishing off a super Cecil Afrika run to give the Blitzboks that 14-point buffer.

England began its comeback mission in perfect fashion after the break, with a Phil Burgess try almost immediately in the second half.

A spectacular Rosko Specman chase stopped England's Dan Norton from closing the gap further, an incredible effort from the Blitzbok after an arduous finals day.

A bad lineout throw did what Norton couldn't, opening a chance for Burgess, who reached over for his second and when Tom Mitchell went over with 90 seconds to go, England had one hand on a bronze medal.

The clock was ultimately against the South Africans, who couldn't back up their 2014 gold medal on the Gold Coast.

The bronze medal is just England's second top-three finish at the Commonwealth Games, after a bronze medal in Melbourne in 2006.

2:25pm - Women's bronze medal match - England 24 Canada 19

England's Women have claimed the bronze medal after scraping past Canada.

England flew out of the gates and struck three times in the opening half, starving the Canadians of ball in the process.

It was left to Canada skipper to set up her side's first, Bianca Farella the scorer.

That sent the two sides into the break with England leading 19-5 and one more try was enough to seal the result despite a second half Canadian surge.

2pm - Men's fifth place playoff - Australia 26 Scotland 0

Australia have shut Scotland out and secured fifth place in the process, bringing a winning end to Andy Friend's tenure as coach.

Maurice Longbottom beat four defenders before passing to Jesse Parahi to set up Australia's first, which John Porch converted from the sideline.Andy Friend finished his time in charge of the Aussie Men's Sevens in style. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyPorch saved a certain Scotland try 30 seconds later before Longbottom set Parahi up again, this time under the sticks.That opened up a 14-0 lead and that's where the score would sit when the half time siren sounded.

Longbottom clearly had his playmaking hat on as it was his grubber from halfway which found the arms of Lachie Anderson, who scored Australia's third with three to play.Brandon Quinn and the Aussie Men finished their campaign with a big win over Scotland. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyBoyd Killingworth then put the icing on the cake, Ben O'Donnell weaving his way through the Scottish line before throwing a pinpoint pass to set the five pointer up.

It was a comprehensive win for an Australian side that was eager to send their beloved coach out in style.

12:35pm - New Zealand, Fiji to clash in Men's gold medal match

New Zealand will take on Fiji in the Men's gold medal match at 3:01pm AEST.

Fiji and South Africa played out an absolute thriller, with the Pacific Islanders snatching an extra-time win over the Blitzboks.

Fiji made an early statement, snatching an opening try against the run of play and taking the momentum with them, to lead by 17 points early in the second half.Fiji are through to the gold medal match. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyRosko Specman found a second-half double to put South Africa back in the contest and a Cecil Afrika conversion pulled things square with 30 seconds to go, sending the game into extra-time.

It took less than a minute for Fjij to nab the winning try in that extra period, setting up a blockbuster finale.

It was a little more straightforward in the first semi-final, with New Zealand edging out England.

England held the lead for most of the first half, before the Kiwis snatched a last-gasp try at the break to leapfrog to the front.New Zealand will face Fiji in the gold medal final. Photo: Getty ImagesRegan Ware had a double midway through the second half for New Zealand, as they began to take control of the match.

But England made it a thrilling finish, narrowing the gap to just five points with 25 seconds to go.

That would be as close as they got, though, setting up a blockbuster finale.

RESULTS

Men's semi finals

New Zealand 17 England 12

Fiji 24 South Africa 19

Women's semi finals

Australia 33 Canada 7

New Zealand 26 England 5

Women's seventh place playoff

Wales 19 South Africa 14

Women's fifth place playoff

Fiji 40 Kenya 5

Men's fifth place playoff semi finals

Australia 33 Kenya 5

Scotland 19 Wales 12

Women's fifth place playoff semi finals

Fiji 40 South Africa 12

Kenya 14 Wales 12

12:20pm - Tonegato, Walsh share thoughts after semi final win

Having put last night's nail biting win against Fiji behind them, star Aussie Sevens flyer Emma Tonegato and coach Tim Walsh cut much more content figures after their semi final win over Canada.

Tonegato scored a stunning hat trick to put her side in the gold medal match and that was the best sign yet that the Aussies are on song ahead of their showdown with New Zealand.

"Last night we went home and we just tried to put it out of our heads," Tonegato said.

"We just wanted to forget about it and just move on, which I think we did.Demi Hayes, Charlotte Caslick and the Aussie Women were dominant against Canada. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"We analysed Canada quite well and I think we contained their strengths and came out on top.

"We were much more clinical and all the ball went straight to hand which was good to see .

"Once we hold onto the ball for a couple of phases we are bound to score, so that's exactly what we were aiming to do."

The Australians have headed straight for the ice baths and after that, they will strap preparing to strap the recovery boots on and analyse where they can attack New Zealand.

Nullifying the threat star winger Portia Woodman poses will be priority number one.

"Portia has been outstanding since she started playing rugby, I think," Walsh said.Cassie Staples and the Australians must nullify the threat of Kiwi star Portia Woodman. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"She's a player that we have to watch for sure.

"Nullifying her, that means somebody else is going to be exposed as well everyone has to do their job individually, make one-on-one tackles and it's a beautiful day for running rugby so I expect a lot of that out there."

New Zealand proved a class above England in their semi final, absorbing plenty of pressure when the game was on the line in the second half.

"They held their composure, like we did," Walsh said.

"They were under some severe pressure there but they just looked after the ball and sooner or later knew someone was going to crack.

"England fell off and once you give Portia space or (Michaela) Blyde some space, it's shut the gate."

11:40am - Women's semi-final - New Zealand 26 England 5

Australia will play New Zealand for the Commonwealth Games gold medal, after the Kiwis beat England 26-5 in their semi-final.

England were suffocating in defence, but New Zealand skipper Sarah Goss found a break in the 3rd minute for the Kiwis' first.Michaela Blyde and the New Zealand Women will face Australia in the gold medal match. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyEnglish skipper Abigail Brown hit back for England two minutes later to even things up, a fair reward for their defensive pressure.

Portia Woodman was pulled down just short of the line, as England found some momentum, but Michaela Blyde found New Zealand's second just before the break.

New Zealand bookended half-time with another try to kick off the second half and then Shakira Baker finished a coast-to-coast effort to stretch the margin to 14 points, before a final Portia Woodman try sealed the result.

11:20am - Women's semi-final - Australia 33 Canada 7

An Emma Tonegato hat-trick has put Australian Women in the gold medal match in resounding fashion.

Canada had first use of the ball and took full advantage, Ghislaine Landry slicing the line from 60 out and sprinting away to score under the posts.

The Canadians again pressed deep into the Australian 22 but a knock eventually came and from the ensuing scrum Emilee Cherry split the line and ran 90 metres to score under the sticks.Emma Tonegato scored a hat trick against Canada. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyFrom the kickoff that followed Charlotte Caslick drew two defenders and put Emma Tonegato away for Australia's second, opening up a 14-7 lead with 90 seconds to play in the first term.

That would be the score at the break and it was Tonegato that struck once again when play resumed, outgunning a Canadian defender on the left flank before scoring under the black dot.

Tonegato had her hat trick with three to play, Caslick throwing a 15m cutout over the head of the final defender to put her in space.All smiles for Emilee Cherry and the Aussie Women. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyCaslick then split the line to put the final nail in the Canadian coffin.

The Aussies will face the winner of New Zealand's clash with England at 2:42pm AEST.

10:35am - Men's fifth place playoff semi final - Australia 33 Kenya 5

Australia have secured a fifth place playoff berth, cruising past Kenya.

Kenya were on the front foot from the outset and 90 seconds into the match, Billy Odhiambo crossed in the corner for the first of the morning.The Aussie Men proved far too good for Kenya. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyNicky Price came into the squad for the injured Tom Lucas and made an immediate impact, making the break which put Ben O'Donnell in for Australia's first, with two to play in the first term.

Maurice Longbottom then sent the Aussies into the break in style, scoring a superb 70m solo effort, weaving his way in and out of would be defenders en route to the line.

Longbottom and John Porch then set up Sam Myers for Australia's next, the former throwing the final pass after the latter stole the ball in the Australian 22 and grubbered through, only to be claimed five out from the Kenyan line.Maurice Longbottom set up one try and scored another against Kenya. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley

That put the Australians in front 19-5 with four minutes to play and Porch put the nail in the coffin one minute later, strolling over after a strong carry from Myers.

The Aussies will face Scotland in the fifth place playoff at 1:33pm AEST.

9:20am - Walsh wanting more from his side

Australian Women's Sevens coach was far from pleased with his side's win over Fiji last night.

9am - Friend reflects on Aussie campaign

They still have two matches to play today but Australian Men's Sevens coach Andy Friend took a philosophical view on his side's loss to England.


8:45am - Day two wrap

ICYMI, here's how the 12 hour rugby marathon panned out on Saturday.

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