MARCH 7 - AUSTRALIA created history today in Dubai when they won the inaugural women's tournament at the World Cup Rugby Sevens as Wales upset the odds to win the men's event.
In an event that will have bolstered rugby's bid to get included on the programme for the 2016 Olympics, Australia defeated New Zealand 15-10 in a final that went to sudden-death extra time after the game was tied 10-10 at full-time.
Shelly Matcham won the World Cup for Australia when, after 40 seconds of extra time, she broke through two tackles to score in the corner.
John O'Neill, the chief executive of the Australian Rugby Union, said: "Their win will never be erased from the record books.
"They fulfilled their ambitions by displaying some of the greatest Australian characteristics.
"There were several occasions when they had to haul in deficits, to stage a comeback to win an important match.
"The tremendous determination, guts and composure they displayed was a hallmark of this landmark success."
The winners were presented with their trophy by International Olympic Committee member, Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.
Australia took an early lead when Nicole Beck, one of several players who had been recruited from the touch football ranks, scored, followed by Debby Hodgkinson, to enjoy a 10-0 lead.
However, when Rebecca Tavo was sent to the sin bin for two minutes, New Zealand made the most of the advantage to level the scores.
Then Matchem swooped in extra time.
She said: "This is so awesome, I only came onto the field 90 seconds before the end of regulation time as a replacement.
"I called for the ball because I could see we had an overlap and having fresh legs I thought I could beat the defence on the outside.
"As it turned out, I had to step back inside, got tackled, but wasn't held and dived over.
"To be honest, I don't even remember the referee blowing the whistle for the try.
"All I remember is my teammates jumping on me. This will be a fantastic step forward for women's rugby in Australia."
Earlier, Australia had beaten England 17-10 in the quarter-finals.
Wales lifted the men's trophy with a stunning 19-12 victory over Argentina in the final.
The 80-1 Welsh outsiders had already rocked the rugby world by knocking out heavyweights New Zealand in the quarter-finals.
But they went on to trump even that by accounting for an in-form Argentine side who had already beaten Wales 14-0 in the pool stages.
In front of a bumper crowd, Wales showed determination, committed defence and inventive try scoring to overcome the hot favourites and bring more rugby pride to the nation.
Wales opened a 12-7 half-time lead with tries from Richie Pugh and Tal Selley, before Pumas drew level.
But Aled Thomas, of London Welsh, stole down the blindside to seal the Melrose Cup for Wales with the decisive try.
David Jenkins, Wales' manager, said: “This was a massive statement about Welsh rugby.
“This is our best result in any world tournament."
They went into this one ranked 11th in the world and only qualified for the last eight on points difference.
But John’s men set the tone on a remarkable finals day with a 15-14 victory over New Zealand, their second victory over the Kiwis inside a month.
Like New Zealand, England crashed out in the quarter-finals, while defending champions Fiji were beaten by Kenya and Argentina defeated South Africa.
Wales then won 19-12 in the semi-finals to set up an unlikely rematch with the Pumas in last night’s final.
Wales had to withstand an enormous challenge from Argentina.
But their tackling, as it had been throughout the tournament, was immense.
Pugh gave Wales the perfect start with a try made by Lee Williams and a further score before half-time by Selley and the conversion by Aled Thomas gave the Welsh a 12-7 interval advantage.
Argentina hit back with a try to level the scores, but a final effort saw Thomas dive over for the winning try before he kicked the conversion.
Wales had earlier made that sensational start to the day by toppling the top seeds, New Zealand, with a 15-14 win.
A senior Indian government official told the media that a sum of 800 million rupees has been sanctioned for state capital Delhi's police force for procurement of security equipment to ensure there is no lax security during the games to be held here and adjoining areas.
"We will plug all the gaps, if any, in security before the event as the whole world would be keeping an eye on the games," he said, on condition of anonymity.
India has also constituted a high-level committee to review the security of Commonwealth Games. "It will give the final approval on security matters," he said.
The sanction came days after suspected terrorists launched an attack on touring Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore, killing at least seven, including five escorting policemen and injuring six players.