Spectators who arrived early on day two of the HSBC New Zealand Sevens were treated to some brilliant action as Canada, France, Australia and the USA contested two matches that had a huge bearing on the outcome of the inaugural women's tournament.
And the good news is that both matches will be available to watch again in full this Wednesday, at 19:00 BST, thanks to our live streaming service on the official World Rugby Sevens Facebook page and World Rugby’s YouTube channel.
Canada 21-19 France
Canada met France in their Pool C decider on day two at FMG Stadium knowing that they had to win to guarantee a semi-final spot.
Both sides had beaten Spain and Ireland on day one, but France’s superior points difference meant it was the Europeans who had the slight advantage ahead of kick off.
History, though, was on the side of Canada, who had lost just three of the pair’s 27 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series meetings up until that point – including a 22-17 victory in the bronze final at the HSBC Cape Town Sevens just six weeks previously.
Les Bleues took an early lead when Shannon Izar broke through the Canadian defence but it looked as though normal service had resumed as the North Americans took a 14-7 half-time lead thanks to tries from Brittany Benn and Charity Williams.
France hit back after the break as Jade Ulutule’s reward for a quickly taken penalty was the try that tied the scores at 14-14.
Williams struck next in what was becoming a seesaw match, notching her second try of the match to restore Canada’s seven-point lead.
But there was still time for some drama as Lina Guerin breached the whitewash to pull France within two points. Izar had the opportunity to secure a draw but her conversion sailed wide.
Australia 19-14 USA
The margin of France’s defeat to Canada meant that the loser of the Pool B encounter between Australia and USA would be eliminated from the Cup competition at FMG Stadium.
Both teams would go through to the semi-finals should the match end in a draw, and interestingly, there had been one stalemate in the teams’ 21 previous World Series meetings.
However, as the match got underway it quickly became apparent that victory was the only thing on the players’ minds.
Australia raced into an early lead as Ellia Green latched onto a kick ahead from Emilee Cherry, who was playing in her first tournament since June 2018, following the birth of her daughter.
USA co-captain Kris Thomas breached the whitewash to get her team on the scoreboard, but it was Australia who struck next, through Green, to head into half-time 12-7 in front.
Alev Kelter converted her own try at the start of the second-half to give the USA a slender two-point lead. But it would not prove to be enough as Green completed her hat-trick with less than 90 seconds remaining, to send Australia into the semi-finals.
Australia would lose 28-19 to Canada in the last-four to set up a match against France, in which Les Bleues sealed a 19-14 victory to finally secure a bronze medal at the 15th attempt in series history.