A fight-back triumph in mixed

By BEN HARRIS

Australia won their sixth World Cup crown in the mixed open division with a come-from-behind victory over New Zealand at the C.ex Coffs International Stadium on Sunday.

Down 5-4 with six minutes to go, Australia piled on four unanswered touchdowns to defeat their trans-Tasman rivals 8-5.

Dylan Thompson was the star for the Aussies, setting up touchdowns and scoring a double himself.

Australia skipper Kylie Hilder, who has likely played her last match in the opens division for Australia, could not hide her excitement.

“Words can’t explain. It was a tough match, we were always behind there but the game plan was to come out on top and we did. We finished so strong,” Hilder said.

“We had to get in the fight and stay in the fight. We knew we could come out at the other end. It was a freaking awesome effort from our guys and it just shows you the character of the team.”

New Zealand coach Tony Langahetau said his team did all they could but it was the little things that cost them.

“We performed really well for most of the game but we couldn’t play two solid 20-minute halves. We made a few crucial errors and we just couldn’t make those touches,” Langahetau said.

It took 28 seconds for New Zealand to get on the scoreboard through Mackenzie Haugh.

Australia’s Jayden Benbow scored to level the scores and Elin Mortimer’s first touchdown put Australia up.

The Kiwis took back the lead with five minute to go and then extended their lead to 5-3 just after half-time.

Cameron Nicholls scored for Australia to put his team one behind.

But in a pivotal moment of the match, New Zealand’s Connah Pamatatau was sent for time for a professional foul.

It changed the momentum of the match as Scott Bundy scored a few seconds later.

Australia then scored three more touchdowns to skip away and cement their place in history.

In the bronze medal match, Papua New Guinea defeated England 11-8.

It is the first time PNG have won the bronze medal at a Touch World Cup.

Mixed open

AUSTRALIA 8 (Elin Mortimer 2, Scott Bundy 2, Dylan Thompson 2, Cameron Nicholls, Jayden Benbow touchdowns) def NEW ZEALAND 5 (Tiwi Davies 2, Jeremy Locke 2, Mackenzie Haugh touchdowns).

Players of the final: Dylan Thompson (Australia) and Tina Ashworth (New Zealand).

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