London ball

Australia wins in London and prepares for the final title of the World Sevens

RUGBY: The battle for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title will go down to the final round after Australia beat New Zealand to claim their first gold medal of the season in London on Sunday May 29 .

Australia celebrate their victory at Twickenham. Photo: AFP

Hat-trick hero Henry Paterson scored a try at the golden point as Australia won 19-14 at Twickenham to ensure the overall title race is to the wire at the final leg in Los Angeles on August 28 and 29.

It was Australia’s first gold in a men’s sevens series event since 2018 and came after this London edition started with a 24-19 loss to New Zealand .

Fiji won bronze with a 31-26 victory over fellow Pacific islanders Samoa.

Defending overall champions South Africa could have retained their title on Sunday but instead the Blitzboks were beaten in the last eight by Australia after losing a 17-point lead.

Australia looked headed for a quarter-final loss as they went down 17-0 but responded with 21 unanswered points, with two tries from Paterson completing a remarkable rally.

South Africa, however, reclaimed the top spot in the standings with 124 points, two ahead of Australia with 122 points. Argentina are third with 118 points, while Fiji are fourth with 104.

The story was against Australia before the final, as they had not beaten New Zealand in the final for 20 years and had lost eight of 10 final sevens to their former rivals on aggregate.

A tight first half was scoreless until 30 seconds before the break when Paterson received a clever reverse pass to go under the posts.

But New Zealand, eliminated in the group stage for the first time in Toulouse last weekend, fought back through Akuila Rokolisoa before Leroy Carter crossed to turn the tables.

Paterson showed his class again with his second try of the game and sixth of the weekend, collecting the ball from stoppage time in his own half before sprinting to go the distance.

At the other end of the field, Paterson then made a superb try-saving tackle in the final game of regulation time, forcing Caleb Tangitau into touch to send the game into extra time.

Paterson then capped off a superb solo display as he raced into the corner to score the golden point-winning try.

In the other quarter-finals, Fiji edged England 36-10, Samoa beat Spain 34-12 and New Zealand beat Ireland 17-7.

Australia then beat Samoa 26-14 but the other semi-final was much closer, with New Zealand stunning high-flying Fiji as they came from 14 points behind to win 22-19 after the try. of Rokolisoa on a blind break.