The Australian women's sevens team have rallied around 'distraught' rookie Cassie Staples following her embarrassing mistake that helped New Zealand claim gold at the Commonwealth Games.
A 'miscommunication in the heat of the moment' was the explanation given for Staples decision to punt the ball into the stands on the regular time siren with the scores locked at 12-12.
Australia came back from 12-0 down at halftime to lock the scores up at 12-12 in the closing stages with a conversion close to the posts. However Aussie player Emma Sykes missed the conversion which would have given the hosts a 14-12 lead.
Then, when Australia stole possession from New Zealand with time up on the clock Staples decided to kick the ball out instead of launch an attack.
The kick forced the game to extra time where the Kiwis exacted revenge for their Rio Olympics final loss with Kelly Brazier streaking away for an 80m try to give New Zealand the gold.
Australian captain Shannon Parry told media that Staples was distraught about her mistake.
"I was on the bench but I have spoken to Cassie and a few of the players and they were saying 'have a crack, have a crack'," Parry said.
"That got misinterpreted to kick out. Just a bit of miscommunication, that crowd could have been a factor as well.
"But that's no reason for the loss. We were 12-all and still in with a shot. That's not a reason or an excuse. We will rally around each other, we won a silver medal which we are very proud of."
As the incident unfolded Staples' teammates couldn't believe what they were seeing as the ball flew over the touchline. Staples quickly realised her mistake and the mortified look on her face said it all.
Australian coach Tim Walsh said there were other mistakes in the final that counted more than Staples' blunder.
"There was many mistakes in that game, that was one of them," Walsh said.
"Things in sport and life go wrong. You've just got to park them and learn off them later."
"They're pretty shattered. They gave it everything and didn't get the result. Very disappointed.
"We had our chances, that's probably the biggest thing. So did the New Zealanders, and they were the last ones to get over and score the try."