Posted By

Tags

New Zealand Women And Argentina Men Win Gold in Hamilton



New Zealand Women And Argentina Men share the podium as Champions for 2023 Sevens series (World Rugby Image)

Praneeta Mahajan

Hamilton, January 23, 2023

Argentina Men and New Zealand Women secured HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series gold on a dramatic final day in Hamilton on Sunday, 22 January 2023.

New Zealand dominated the women’s event through the weekend, scoring 225 points and conceding just 19. In the Cup final, Michaela Blyde scored a hat-trick in a 33-7 win over the USA, while Australia claimed bronze thanks to a 33-17 victory over Ireland.

New Zealand captain Sarah Hirini said:  “It is so amazing to win our home tournament, the support has been brilliant and we are delighted. The team have given everything over the two days and we will enjoy this one.”

HSBC Player of the Final, Michaela Blyde, who scored 10 tries in two days, said:  “This one is extra special, it means a lot.” Ms Blyde also won the ‘DHL Impact Player Award for the Series’ which was her second one yet.

In the men’s competition, Argentina came back from 12-0 down to win the men’s Cup final 14-12 against the All Blacks Sevens while the USA took bronze with a thrilling 15-14 win over France.

Argentina’s Gaston Revol said, “This is just amazing, we have worked so hard for this. To beat New Zealand in New Zealand is the ultimate and the team never knew when they were beaten, every one put in a lot of effort.”

HSBC Player of the Final Rodrigo Isgro said:  “This team just works so hard, what a feeling.”

In the men’s Cup final Argentina fought back from 12-0 down to win a breath-taking encounter.

For Argentina, this gold is their first medal of the 2023 Series and should give them momentum for the coming months. Earlier in the day, Argentina beat crowd favourites Fiji 19-10 in the quarter-final before overcoming USA 24-14 in the semi-final.

Captains come together for a picture at the K’aute Pasifika Community Centre (World Rugby Image)

Hamilton plays the Perfect host

It was a bittersweet experience for the Host City of Hamilton which has been hosting the Sevens since 2018 with big crowds showing their enthusiasm for their favourite teams.

After a two-year hiatus due to the impact of Covid, live events are once again becoming a reality. This was a positive sign for many local businesses that got a boost in their revenue and exposure.

Sean Murray, The Deputy Chief Executive and General Manager of Venues, Tourism, and Major Events at Hamilton City Council said “Events lift people’s spirits, so we are excited to host so many this year. The value in the exposure of our city and region they provide is priceless.”

Every year, the Sevens series has brought thousands of supporters into the stadium, and as the sun shone on the FMG Stadium, the blue sea of Fijian fans cheering for Fiji men’s and women’s teams was a sight that brought the event to life and made Hamilton look like a part of Fijian celebration of rugby.

Ravi Chand, a Fijian supporter said,” We have watched all the Sevens series in Hamilton and it would have been great to see some great rugby action moving forward as well. But we decided to make the most of this year’s games and are glad we managed to have a great time this weekend.”

New Zealand would not be hosting Sevens Series for a long time as there is no clear date for any comeback for the World Series event after World Rugby cut New Zealand from its list of hosts for next season, saying it would streamline the series with fewer tournaments in “iconic” global destinations which have not been confirmed yet.

South Africa’s star playmaker, Selvyn Davies, said he would not miss the travel across time zones but will miss playing in New Zealand. He said, “They are a proud rugby nation and rugby is huge in New Zealand,” Davies said.

Fiji’s men’s assistant coach, Viliame Satala said it was a “disappointment” that New Zealand would no longer be hosts.

Michaela Blyde won the Player of the Final title (World Rugby Image)

200 Years of Rugby

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont reaffirmed World Rugby’s ongoing commitment to advancing player welfare and women in rugby in a year when the sport will celebrate its 200th birthday.

He said “ In a rapidly changing post-pandemic world, like all sports rugby must continue to evolve. Amidst accelerating demand for entertainment as well as growing concern around social and environmental issues, it is important rugby keeps moving forwards across everything from player welfare and fan engagement to financial and environmental sustainability if it is to become more attractive, more relevant and more accessible to more people and become a truly global sport.”

He said “Rugby World Cup 2023 will showcase the very best of the sport on and off the field, and given just how tight the world rankings are, we can anticipate a thrilling and unpredictable race to lift the Webb Ellis Cup. “

Just as a transformational women’s edition in New Zealand smashed down boundaries, propelled personalities to the fore and captured the imagination of new supporters the world over in 2022, France 2023 will be a fitting 200th birthday party.

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink correspondent based in Hamilton.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this story

Related Stories

Indian Newslink

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement