- Event comprised 84 action-packed games
- New Zealand wins both men’s and women’s tournaments
- Knockout rounds introduced for first time
- DHL Moment of the Tournament awarded to England’s Phil Burgess
Comprising a total of 52 men’s and 32 women’s matches, the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens was a hard-fought affair, which ended with the New Zealand men’s team overpowering England and the women’s team trouncing France to chalk up a 29-0 win.
In addition to the American location, new to this year’s tournament was a knock-out only format that meant teams had to be constantly on their mettle.
Engaging the fans
Over the course of the weekend, some 102,000 fans attended, many of whom were new to the game. To help keep them entertained off pitch, DHL provided a host of activities including the DHL café where fans could receive complimentary coffee and face painting while watching match highlights on the DHL Social Media Wall. Elsewhere, freestyler Daniel Cutting amazed fans with an incredible array of tricks performed with a rugby ball.
On social media fans also had the opportunity to vote for the DHL Moment of the Tournament. And, given the abundance of great tries, tackles, and plays throughout the event, this action certainly provided fans with plenty of exciting Moments to choose from.
Kiwi men do it again
In the men’s tournament, Scotland produced one of the most exciting moments, beating Kenya 31-26 in the final play of the game. In other games France caused an upset by sneaking past game favorite Australia to win 22-17 and, despite a slow start against Samoa, England finally managed to come out on top with a 19-15 win.
In the quarterfinals, South Africa and Fiji breezed past Scotland and Argentina respectively, with defending champions New Zealand just edging past France 12-7. In the remaining game, England produced the DHL Moment of the Tournament when captain Tom Mitchell pulled off the winning try against the USA with an incredible cross kick to Phil Burgess.
England then blitzed past South Africa 29-7 in the semis to make the final once again, with New Zealand beating crowd favorites Fiji 22-17 in another incredible game.
In the final clash between New Zealand and England, the Kiwi’s showed their supremacy and outperformed England to win their second Rugby World Cup Sevens title in succession 33-12.
There’s no stopping New Zealand
In the women’s tournament, Ireland ladies knocked England out with an incredible 19-14 win. Spain beat the much-fancied Fijian side 19-12 and the hosts, the USA, got off to a big 38-7 victory over China, to the delight of the home crowd. Australia and New Zealand breezed into the semi-finals, whereas, France and the USA fought hard against Canada and Russia to book a place in the final four.
In the semis, the French, as in the men’s tournament, broke Australian hearts, defeating the World Rugby Sevens Series champions 19-12. And, in a match that will have certainly thrilled some new rugby fans, the hosts almost made the final – only to have their hopes dashed by New Zealand 26-21.
In the final, the try-scoring abilities of the likes of Michaela Blyde and Portia Woodman ensured New Zealand dominated play to win their second Rugby World Cup Sevens Title 29-0 against France.