World rugby stars hail Caslick as Aussie women claim sevens gold against Kiwis

The top seeds dominated the game either side of half-time.

Charlotte Caslick was the star of the show.
Charlotte Caslick was the star of the show.
Image: Themba Hadebe

CHARLOTTE CASLICK STARRED for favourites Australia as they dispatched their transtasman rivals New Zealand 24-17 to claim gold in the inaugural women’s sevens event at the Olympics.

Kayla McAlister, sister of former All Black Luke, impressed for the Kiwis, opening the scoring, but it was the quick feet and soft hands of the 21-year-old Brisbane native Caslick that stole the show tonight.

A questionable try in the corner, after Emma Tonegato appeared to knock on before grounding, got Australia back on level terms and soon afterwards New Zealand’s Portia Woodman was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on.

The Aussies were quick to punish their rivals as they spun the ball sharply to the left, the quick-thinking Caslick making space for Evania Pelite to score and see Australia claim a 10-5 half-time lead.

Australia began the second half as they finished the first, showing tenacity in defence and inventiveness in attack. And when they scored their third try of the match three minutes into the second half, Caslick was once again the orchestrator.

Caslick’s inside ball found Emilee Cherry and she sent Ellia Green over the whitewash. Chloe Dalton added the extras on this occasion, making it 17-5 to Australia.

The Australians then drove home their advantage two minutes later when Caslick caught the Kiwi defence napping with a quick tap penalty to score under the posts, and Dalton was again on target with the boot.

New Zealand added late tries through McAlister and Woodman, which Tyla Nathan-Wong converted, to add respectability to the scoreline but it was too little too late.

Australia, who dominated the world series this year, were full value for their win with Caslick, in particular, singled out for praise by some of world rugby’s greats, past and present.

Australia continued their winning streak over New Zealand which dates back to February 2015.

Earlier in the night, Canada stunned Team GB to claim the bronze medal on a 33-10 scoreline.

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