Rio 2016: Australian women claim historic Olympic gold as Rugby Sevens makes its bow

Australia beat New Zealand 24-17 in the final of the Women's Rugby Sevens to become Olympic Champions

Rio 2016: Australian women claim historic Olympic gold as Rugby Sevens makes its bow
Emma Tonegato stretches over for the Australian's first try (image via: David Rogers/Getty)

Australia are the first ever women's Sevens Olympic champions, after they beat New Zealand 24-17 in the gold medal match in Rio

Having dominated the sport all year, the result was not a surprise, and the performance they put on in the final proved just how good of a team they have become. 

New Zealand had to make do with the silver, while Canada beat Team GB in the bronze-medal matchup to avenge their defeat to the same side 24 hours earlier. 

Woodman yellow opens game up for Aussies

Some ferocious tackling by both sides early on kept the score at 0-0, before New Zealand broke the deadlock through Kayla McAlister. The sister of former All Black Luke, span out of an attempted tackle before crashing over for a 5-0 lead following Tyla Nathan-Wong's missed conversion.

Kayla McAlister scored the opening try in the final (image via: worldrugby.org)
Kayla McAlister scored the opening try in the final (image via: worldrugby.org)

The world's number one side then clawed their way back into the game, and after being dragged down just short of the line moments before, winger Emma Tonegato did just enough to level the scores at five-apiece.

Just before half-time, Australia took a strong foothold in the game, when they scored their second try through Evania Pelite after New Zealand's star player Portia Woodman had been sent to the sin-bin. 

Caslick comes to the fore as first ever gold heads to Australia

With a player advantage, Australia capitalised as expected, with playmakers Chloe Dalton and Charlotte Caslick to the fore. 

Their third was scored by Ellia Green following an excellent break by Caslick, before she herself got a five-pointer after spotting a gap in the withering Kiwi defence.

Ellia Green scored Australia's third try (image via: worldrugby.org)

To their credit, New Zealand didn't back down and continued to bring the pressure, scoring two late tries through McAlister and Woodman, but they eventually fell seven points short and had to settle for silver. 

Canada claim bronze after toppling GB

Having been put to the sword by Team GB in their group game yesterday, Canada turned the table when it mattered most, claiming bronze with a 33-10 win. 

The Canadians were more abrasive at the ruck, and their speed on the outside was too much for the British as they stormed into a 26-5 lead at the break. 

Tries from Karen Paquin, Gislaine Landry, Biance Farella and Kelly Russell handed them the large lead at the break, with a score by Daneille Waterman all Team GB had to show for their efforts. Just like in the defeat to New Zealand during the semi-finals, GB's indiscipline cost them and they lost skipper Emily Scarratt to a yellow card just before the break. 

Jasmine Joyce gave the Brits hope with a try early in the half, but it proved nothing more than a consolation once Landry crossed for her second five-pointer as Canada secured the bronze medal.