France upset Australia to face NZ in RWC 7s women's final
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ellia Green walked out of a medical room in the bowels of AT&T Park and looked up at a TV screen on the wall. She couldn't have liked what she saw.
While her teammates placed their hands on their heads in disbelief, France was celebrating on the field after stunning Australia 19-12 to reach its first Rugby World Cup Sevens final.
Green, an Olympic champion, scored Australia's second try but then received a hard tackle and was escorted off for a head injury assessment. Australia led 12-0 at the time.
"Congratulations to the French team," Australia coach John Manenti said. "They had to fight back from a halftime deficit. To bring (Green) off, she's an impact player. She plays another minute or two, scores a try, or chases someone down, things are different."
France replacement Anne Cecile Ciofani found some breathing room on the left side and scampered in with the match-winning try on the final play to complete the comeback.
"There's too much emotion I can tell you," Ciofani said. "It's so wonderful. It's just magic. We won against a great team. I can't explain it. Too amazing."
France will face defending champion and heavy favorite New Zealand in the final later Saturday.
The Black Ferns repelled a stiff semifinals test from the host Americans in a 26-21 victory. They didn't make it safe until Sarah Goss set up Portia Woodman for their fourth try and 26-14 with a minute to go.
New Zealand won all four meetings with France this season on the world series.
But Woodman said: "They're going to be unpredictable."