Australia has won the first gold medal for rugby sevens at the Olympics, beating archrival New Zealand 24-17 in the women’s final Monday night. The women’s world series champions conceded an early try to Kayla McAlister but rallied with two tries before halftime and another two after the break to take a 24-5 lead.
Emma Tonegato’s early equalizer for Australia was contentious after she appeared to fumble as she crashed over in the corner but referee Alhambra Nievas awarded it after checking with both assistant referees.
Evania Pelite scored in the corner on the stroke of halftime, moments after New Zealand star Portia Woodman was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on.
Ellia Green and Charlotte Caslick scored for the Australians before New Zealand cut the margin with late tries from McAlister and Woodman.
Ghislaine Landry led Canada to the bronze medal, scoring two tries and landing four conversions in a 33-10 win over Britain.