NZ Sevens take bronze in Paris with win over England

New Zealand's Sione Molia fends off defenders from the USA during pool play in Paris.
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New Zealand's Sione Molia fends off defenders from the USA during pool play in Paris.

The New Zealand men's sevens side has taken the bronze medal at the latest leg of the World Series competition in Paris, beating England in a playoff for third.

The Kiwi side fought back from 5-0 down at halftime to win 12-5, with tries to Sam Dickson and Sherwin Stowers sealing the win.

Dickson took a cross-field kick to cancel out Will Edwards' opener, with Joe Webber's conversion from wide out nudging the All Blacks Sevens side ahead. Stowers then showed his speed to put the icing on the result a minute from full-time.

Earlier, New Zealand had crashed out of contention for the top honour in Paris after being thrashed by eventual champions South Africa in the semifinals.

Regan Ware's try opened the scoring for the Kiwi side in the semis, but it was all the Blitzboks from there as the newly crowned 2016/17 World Series champions roared back to win 26-5.

South Africa then ended Scotland's giant-killing run in the final, winning its fifth cup final of the season with a scoreline of 15-5.

Scotland was the tournament's surprise packet, reaching the final with a win over arch-rivals England after earlier stunning Fiji 24-0, breaking a run of 13 matches against the Olympic champions without a win.

Before their semifinal defeat, the All Blacks Sevens team had won four from four in the French capital, beating the hosts 14-0 in their quarterfinal.

Veteran DJ Forbes opened the scoring for New Zealand against France when he barged over on the blindside from close range and Joe Webber converted. Sione Molia crossed next when cutting inside Tim Mikkelson and Webber again added the extras to give the Kiwis a 14-0 lead at halftime. France's hopes of a comeback evaporated when they had a player yellow-carded in the middle of the second spell. 

They opened the tournament with a 26-7 win against Wales, while a late try to Sam Dickson was all that separated New Zealand from Argentina in their second match of the day, lifting the side to a 21-14 win. In their final pool match against the United States, Regan Ware scored two tries in as many minutes late off the bench to guide his side to victory.

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