Teagan, Terita time as Australia ends 41-game Kiwi winning streak with Dubai title

Sun, Dec 3, 2023, 3:37 PM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Aussie 7s ended NZ's stranglehold on the Sevens circuit. Photo: Getty Images
The Aussie 7s ended NZ's stranglehold on the Sevens circuit. Photo: Getty Images

A game-turning shift from Teagan Levi has delivered Australia their fourth straight Dubai title with a 26-19 win over New Zealand in the final.

It extends Australia's winning streak in Dubai to 22 games as they start their 2023-24 Series on the perfect note, ending the Black Ferns' 41-game winning streak.

Watch every round of the HSBC SVNS Series exclusive, ad-free and live on Stan Sport. 

The final turned into a showcase of the future of the Sevens circuit as 20-year-olds Levi and Bienne Terita shone for the Aussies, doing enough to defeat the defending champions powered by a brilliant solo effort from 19-year-old Kiwi sensation Jorja Miller.

Terita, who started in place of Alysia Lefau-Fakaoisilea after her red card in the semi-final, calmed the nerves early with a great break in the first 15 seconds to score the opener.

Miller then took over the contest with no Sarah Hirini (knee) and Tyla Nathan-Wong (rest), scoring twice in the space of three minutes, including finishing off a perfect offload from Michaela Blyde to give New Zealand the lead.

As the Kiwis marched down the field with all the momentum before the break, Player of the Match Levi changed the game.

The 'pitbull' as coined by coach Tim Walsh muscled her way through the ruck to force the mistake from Miller, before beating two defenders and running 80 metres for the 14-12 lead at the break.

Levi and Terita combined after the break to extend the lead, only for Miller's third to level the scores with four minutes to go.

With the game on the line, leaders Demi Hayes and Charlotte Caslick set up the winner, combining to put flyer Maddison Levi in a one-on-one situation, where she proved too strong.

Her 11th of the weekend broke her own record from last year and proved the winner as Hayes and Madison Ashby combined to force the mistake that ultimately sealed the win.

“It’s amazing,” captain Charlotte Caslick said. “It was disappointing losing ‘Lys’ (Lefau-Fakaoisilea) for the Final because she’s so important to our team but it shows the depth we’ve been creating and ‘BB’ (Bienne Terita) stepped up and had a blinder.

“…We wanted to hold the ball as much as possible because we know when they touch it they are dangerous so that was key alongside the restarts.

“(Teagan Levi) is unbelievable. She’s had an amazing pre-season and we’re all getting to see the hard work she’s done this year.”

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