Australian women snare rugby sevens bronze

Australia's women's rugby sevens side will aim to bounce back in Sydney after New Zealand took top spot on the rankings with victory in Hamilton.

CHARLOTTE CASLICK. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

New Zealand have knocked Australia's women off top spot in the World Rugby Sevens Series rankings after winning gold in Hamilton.

Australia were upset 10-7 by the United States in the semi-final before beating Ireland 33-17 to claim bronze.

New Zealand had a 33-7 victory over the US in the final to move to 58 points on the table, four clear of their trans-Tasman rivals.

Meanwhile Australia's men, the defending champions, have some work to do after finishing fifth in Hamilton to slip to seventh in the rankings on 52 points, 11 points behind leaders New Zealand.

Argentina stunned the Kiwis 14-12 to win the final.

Australia's men had a breakthrough Hong Kong Sevens win to start the season and will be aiming to recapture form when the series moves to Sydney from January 27-29.

Australia's women, the defending world and Commonwealth Games champions, began Sunday's action with a 38-0 win over Great Britain in their quarter-final with co-captain Charlotte Caslick scoring a double.

The semi began well for Australia with Madison Ashby going in for a converted try but the United States scored twice in three minutes to take the lead. Australia were attacking at the end of the match but were unable to get over.

"We don't like losing but it comes with the territory of being the hunted," Australia's coach Tim Walsh said.

"We provided exposure to some inexperienced combinations and situations, which will provide real value moving forward."

Australia's men lost 28-14 to the US in their quarter-final. They bounced back to beat Fiji 26-19 and Ireland 26-12 to take fifth place.

Henry Paterson scored a double in each game with coach John Manenti labelling him "a weapon with ball in hand".