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Raw emotion as Sevens Sisters miss gold

NZN 9/08/2016 Sean Martin

There were tears in Portia Woodman's eyes before the final of the women's sevens in Rio.

There were more after the final whistle.

And she was not alone.

Woodman's emotions were on full display during the playing of the national anthem and at fulltime when she sat on her haunches in the in-goal after scoring the last try of the final.

Her despair at the end of the gold medal match was presumably not just because the Sevens Sisters had been beaten 24-17 by Australia, but because she felt she was the reason why.

The team's try-scoring star was sinbinned late in the first half after knocking the ball on to thwart an Australian attack.

In her absence they took charge of the match and ran the legs off the six remaining sisters until there was no gas left in the tank.

Her tears were shared by her teammates in an defiant post-match haka and they'll be left to reflect the one that got away.

While their aspirations fell short, the eventing team mastered a tricky cross-country course at Deodoro to revive their medal hopes.

Seemingly out of the running after sharing sixth place following the dressage phase they kept their heads while all around others were losing theirs.

Top class riders made mistakes and the commotion was turned on its head.

They now sit in silver medal position heading into the showjumping stage, with Sir Mark Todd, seeking a sixth medal at a sixth different Games, moving from 17th to fourth.

As a prescient Jonelle Price declared before the cross-country: "Thankfully it's called three-day eventing for a reason."

There was no thanks from rowers Rebecca Scown and Genevieve Behrent for the Brits after they pushed the women's eight into second place in their heat and into a repechage. It means the duo, who are also contesting the women's pair, will race twice in the space of an hour on Wednesday.

The Black Sticks women, after such a classy opening win over Korea, slumped to defeat against Germany prompting a rebuke from veteran Anita McLaren: "It's an Olympic Games, it's not just a club hockey match back home."

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