The Black Ferns Sevens were defeated in a dramatic 17-12 Commonwealth Games semi-final by Australia on Sunday morning in Coventry.
That means the best Olympic champions can hope for in Birmingham is a bronze medal.
They will face Canada in that match, after Fiji beat Canada 24-7 in the other semi-final.
In what was a replay of the Gold Coast final four years ago, won dramatically by New Zealand, the Australians came back from a 12-7 deficit to control possession in the second half, with debut Australian hero Maddison Levi, which scored all three attempts.
The Black Ferns went into the playoffs after putting hosts England to the sword in their final pool game, but struggled with pressure exerted by Australia after the break, though the Kiwis were helped by a yellow card to Teagan Levi. with time running out after she was tried for pulling Portia Woodman’s hair in a tackle.
New Zealand responded to an early attempt by Levi with a Woodman score from the right after good early work from Kelly Brazier and Michaela Blyde and a precise pass from Tyler Nathan-Wong.
And the Black Ferns appeared in control when Theresa Fitzpatrick scored a converted try after a nice cut by Nathan-Wong for a good half-time lead.
But after a sloppy restart across Australia, Levi ended up in the left corner in Sarah Hirini’s attempt.
With just under four minutes left, Brazier pulled out of the restart to put more pressure on New Zealand.
And with possession, although going back, Levi finished a breakout play for his third attempt, which was converted and gave Australia a 17-12 lead with less than a minute to go.
In the final seconds after Teagan Levi’s sinbinning, the Black Ferns opted for a scrum, but Australia invaded the subsequent meltdown, and as the ball was hit, time was up for the Black Ferns.
#Black #Ferns #eliminated #gold #medal #race #Australian #rivals