All Blacks Sevens complete Dubai double

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Losses to world and Commonwealth champions New Zealand (28-7), US (33-12) and Spain (33-7) didn't tell the full story of a Wales team made up of six new caps - all of whom were playing top-flight sevens for the first time.

The Canada Sevens earned the top score in five of the categories.

"We know this is the first qualifying period for 2020 but we're focused on the day-to-day process", said Canadian player Charity Williams.

They had gone into the final with only nine fit players with captain Scott Curry among the injured quartet and came up against a United States of America side playing in their first Cup final in Dubai only a year after losing all five of their matches.

The 2019 edition goes March 9 and 10 at B.C. Place.

The Canadian women finished fourth in the overall standings in a disappointing injury-plagued 2017-18 season.

"It's been an emotional one, but I'm really proud of the girls, the courage they showed", Australian coach John Manenti said.

Anthony Davis SHOCK trade update, Kyrie Irving ending up in Sacramento?
One of the many aspects of the Celtics' sluggish start to the season was their severe lack of energy to begin games. We're trying to win games. 'But that doesn't mean I think we have to go and get something done right now.

Meanwhile in the women's series, world champion New Zealand remained ideal by beating Canada 26-14 in the final for a second title in this series and fifth straight going back to last season.

The Black Ferns Sevens close out 2018 leading the World Series after two tournaments, and boast an impressive 39-match winning streak.

England had earlier faced New Zealand in one of two incredible Cup semi-finals. France increased its lead to 28-5 with Adam Zaruba in the sin-bin for not releasing on a try-saving tackle. It took Folau Niua's quick-tap penalty and the might of Danny Barrett to finally catch Australia off-guard and break the 17-17 deadlock.

The Black Ferns Sevens will face Russian Federation in the first quarter-final of the Dubai Rugby Sevens at 6pm (NZT) after winning all their pool play matches on day one of the tournament.

Two Tom Mitchell tries helped England to a 22-5 win over South Africa and Tom Bowen scored in the semi-final, but England lost it 7-5 to New Zealand. However, Waisea Nacuqu had other ideas and his breakaway try levelled the scores, only for Vilimoni Botitu to step up and miss the straightforward conversion to mean extra-time would decide the victor.

The Aussie men now head to Cape Town for the second leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series next weekend.

Utility forward Biselele Tshamala, who plays for College Rovers in Durban, South Africa also enjoyed a good tournament with three tries while there were also solid performances from Australia-based Connor Pritchard and Takudzwa Kumadiro, who plays for local side Old Georgians.

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