New Zealand steal Sydney Sevens at the death

Sonny Bill Williams (Gallo Images)
Sonny Bill Williams (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - A Rieko Ioane hat-trick has ensured New Zealand walk away with the Sydney Sevens in a pulsating final against Australia, overcoming the hosts 27-24.

In a match that went back and forth and produced a thrill a minute, Australia opened the scoring with a converted try through Henry Hutchison.

New Zealand hit back immediately with a converted try of their own after the Ioane brothers combined for Rieko Ioane to score under the posts. 

With the Sydney crowd roaring them on, Hutchinson scored again after Sonny Bill Williams was sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle. 

New Zealand, however, hit back once again through Kurt Baker on the stroke of half time to see the teams level at 12-12 at the break.

The second half followed the same pattern as the first with Australia scoring through Sam Myers only for New Zealand to answer with a try from captain, Tim Mikkelson who cantered over. 

Speedster Greg Jeloudev gave Australia the lead for the fourth time in the match with a converted score to take the score to 24-17 with two minutes to play.

Ioane ensured New Zealand remained in the match as he got over the whitewash for his second try of the encounter.

Crucially, New Zealand missed their conversion and the home side led 24-22 with under a minute to play, just needing to run down the clock for victory. 

New Zealand, as they had done last week against the Blitzboks in Wellington, gained possession and pulled victory from defeat after the final hooter had sounded with Ioane getting his hat-trick by scoring in the left hand corner to leave Australian hearts, and those of their supporters, shattered. 

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