Australia takes Oly gold in women’s rugby

Australia have claimed an historic Olympic gold medal by defeating New Zealand 24-17 in an entertaining women’s rugby sevens final at the Rio Games.

In the first women’s rugby final played at the Olympics, the top-ranked Australians trumped the Kiwis with their superior pace and skill in the four-tries-to-three win at Deodoro Stadium.

It was only the second time the trans-Tasman rivals have played off for Olympic gold in a team sport after New Zealand beat the Kookaburras in hockey at the 1976 Montreal Games.

Canada took the bronze after thrashing Great Britain 33-10 in the third-place playoff.

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