Aussie women beat New Zealand for rugby sevens gold

Australia have claimed the inaugural women's rugby sevens gold medal with a 24-17 victory over New Zealand in the final in Rio.

The Australians entered the women's competition as raging gold medal favourites and they didn't disappoint despite a nervy start in the final.

The Kiwis started the stronger as they kept Australia inside their own half with some robust defence. The pressure eventually told as Kayla McAllister forced her way over to score out wide after four minutes.

Australia looked to hit back immediately and they very nearly did so as Emma Tonegato broke free deep inside New Zealand territory. The Aussie flyer was cut down in a fine covering tackle, but she would not be denied a short while later as she crossed out wide. There looked to be some doubt about her grounding of the ball, but the referee and her assistants awarded the try after a brief consultation.

The Aussies had the momentum from there and they would go into halftime at 10-5 up after New Zealand's Portia Woodman was sent to the Sin bin for a deliberate knock down. Evania Pelite then rubbed salt into the wound as she raced to the corner to give the Pearls their five-point advantage.

The Australians were first to score after the break as Ellia Green finished off a sweeping move to extend the lead to 17-5 after the conversion was successful.

Charlotte Caslick then put the game beyond doubt as she took a quick tap and had too much speed for the New Zealand defence.

McAlister crossed for her second and then Portia Woodman added another consolation try for New Zealand, but the damage had already been done with Australia claiming trans-Tasman bragging rights in their first Olympic rugby showdown.