Rugby Sevens: Tait more dazzling than silver but Kiwis win third Sevens gold in a row

The silver ferns finished with the gold medals but the silver medallists had the golden boy. Last seen in the international spotlight being shunted halfway from Cardiff to Abergavenny, everything about Mathew Tait glistened with gold, save for the medal which hung from his neck on the last day of the Commonwealth Games Sevens.

The Newcastle centre was sparkling enough in the pool stages on Thursday. Yesterday, at the business end of events, he was simply dazzling. "He's certainly got that X-factor," said Gordon Tietjens, coach of the winning New Zealand team. "I can't believe he's not in the England 15s squad now."

There were 49,999 others in a state of disbelief in a world record Sevens audience beneath the roof of the Telstra Dome. New Zealand emerged from the gold-medal match victorious by 29-21, claiming a third Commonwealth crown out of three, but Tait's trailblazer of a try will live longest in the memory.

It started with a skip on the England 22 that left Tamati Ellison (the great-grandson of Tom Ellison, the first New Zealand rugby captain and the man who suggested they should wear an all black strip) clutching at thin air. The Newcastle Falcon took off on an 80-metre flight before touching down under the posts.

The fledgling who had his wings so unceremoniously clipped by Gavin Henson on his England debut, the day before his 19th birthday in February 2005, has become a man of some distinction. In a tournament blessed with the Wallabies Lote Tuqiri, Chris Latham and Matt Giteau, the 20-year-old finished top of the class with nine tries.

Before the final there was a dramatic, jinking score that clinched a 17-14 quarter-final win against Samoa six seconds from the hooter, and a brilliant long-range effort in a 21-14 semi-final success against Fiji. It was the kind of stuff that has been lamentably lacking from England's midfield thus far in the Six Nations Championship.

"When Mathew does become a part of the England midfield he will bring a new dimension," said Mike Friday, England's Sevens coach. "I know Robbo [Andy Robinson, the England coach] was watching today and he'll be excited by what he's seen.

"Robbo is very mindful of his previous experience. It's all about timing, in getting it right for Mathew, so that when he makes the transition to the senior set-up he is there for a long time."

"I just like playing," said Tait. "I've thoroughly enjoyed my time out here."

Wales enjoyed their time in Melbourne too, winning the Plate competition with a 29-28 success against South Africa.

Australia finished with a defeat in the bronze-medal match to Fiji, and with Scott Fava in the Royal Melbourne Hospital after suffering convulsions on the pitch. Thankfully, the Wallaby back-rower was in a stable condition overnight.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

Life and Style
i100

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Network Infrastructure Technical Lead - up to £45k DOE - Surrey

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Technical Architect - Surrey - £35k-£45k DOE - Permanent

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Year 3 Teachers needed for supply roles

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...

Year 4 Teachers needed for supply roles

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week