MOSCOW, June 30 (R-Sport) – New Zealand ended their 12-year wait for a second Rugby Sevens World Cup title on Sunday with a record 33-0 rout of England in a mudbath final in Moscow.
The legendary Jonah Lomu powered the All Blacks to victory in the 2001 final with a hat-trick but this time it was speedy back Tim Mikkelson who shone, scoring two first-half tries that set New Zealand on the path to victory. The margin of victory was the largest ever seen in a World Cup final.
"To go to Russia and win in these conditions with the quality teams that were here, it's bloody awesome," New Zealand back Kurt Baker said, adding he was now on the hunt for "a quiet beer."
Lifting the Melrose Cup cements New Zealand as the early favorites for an Olympic gold medal when sevens makes its debut in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Coach Gordon Tietjens adds his second World Cup to the 10 World Series titles he has won in his 19-year reign.
"We struggled the first two days, but today in every game from Wales to Fiji to England, we played superbly," Tietjens said. "To come off World Series win and cap it off winning the World Cup is a tremendous season for us and it's great to do it with the crew of guys we have here as well."
Earlier, New Zealand’s Black Ferns women’s team lifted the World Cup, making the country the first to do the double, and ensuring the Kiwis hold all the world titles in men's and women's 15s and sevens.
England were outclassed throughout in the final as New Zealand upped their game, eliminating the basic errors that troubled them early in the tournament. England were playing in their first final since winning the inaugural World Cup Sevens at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield stadium 20 years ago.
“New Zealand played very well in the final, we didn't get from our half in the first half and didn't particularly execute what we were going to do,” England coach Ben Ryan said. “As the head coach I'm a bit disappointed to be outplayed, but over the three days I'm terrifically proud of our lads' efforts.”
Torrential rain earlier in the evening meant the pitch at the Luzhniki arena was badly shredded and very slippery, a stark contrast to the baking hot conditions of the preceding two days of competition.
New Zealand’s power and pace told from the start, Sherwin Stowers charging in behind the England line and passing for Mikkelson to sprint between the posts. Four minutes later, Tomasi Cama squirmed over the line in a tussle with England’s Dan Norton, and added his second conversion of the match to make the lead 14-0.
Mikkelson grabbed his second try as a period of All Blacks pressure finally forced a missed tackle from England, allowing New Zealand to score on the overlap. Cama converted again to send his team into the break with a 21-0 lead.
England held back the tide for the first eight minutes of the second half, before neat passing on the 10-meter line allowed New Zealand to see Gillies Kaka free on the wing to run in another try. With the last play of the game, the All Blacks knitted together an exuberant passing move for Waisake Naholo to score on the wing and punish England further.
Tietjens said his team had played ugly to win on the shredded pitch, eschewing their usual passing game.
"It might have been a bit of a kick-fest but we had to kick at times," he said. "I don't really like it, and we very rarely do it, but today was all about winning the World Cup."
In other matches, Canada won the plate with a 19-12 defeat of Samoa, while Russia lifted the bowl after beating Japan 29-5.
Canada’s Nathan Hirayama finishes the tournament as top scorer with 49 points from eight tries, three conversions and a penalty. Fiji’s Metuisela Talebula topped the try charts with seven.