The All Blacks Sevens won the fourth round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Sydney, beating hosts Australia 27-24 in a breathtaking final.
Having never led in the final, Rieko Ioane scored his hat-trick try with the last play of the match to give New Zealand the victory in front of a sold-out Allianz Stadium crowd of 37,095.
In a repeat of the 17-17 draw in the final pool match of day one it was only Australia’s second Cup final on home soil having won the 2002 Brisbane Sevens. But they came up against an inspired Sir Gordon Tietjens’ side that never gave up despite Henry Hutchison twice giving Australia the lead in the first-half, and Sam Myers and Greg Jeloudev doing the same in the second-half.
New Zealand remain in third in the series with the win but move to the same points as leaders Fiji (69), who reclaimed top spot by beating South Africa 26-12 to finish third in Sydney, and second-place Blitzboks with points difference separating the three teams at the top.
New Zealand captain Tim Mikkelson said: “I just want to thank Aussie, for an awesome two games over the weekend, you guys played awesome and this is an awesome tournament that will just grow from year to year.
“To the fans, all the New Zealanders, thanks for coming out and supporting us. And to our boys, another awesome effort, we said it would take 20 minutes to win and we just kept on going and we got the victory in the end.”