As in 2016, the All Blacks Sevens have closed their Sydney tournament with a win over the Aussies.
But they would have loved the 29-14 result to have been in the Cup final rather than the bronze medal match. For all that, they will be happy with the way they closed, after a tired effort last week in their final game in Wellington.
They ran in five tries with some slick handling, passing and running, though they lost Sherwin Stowers with what looked to be a hamstring injury. DJ Forbes skippered the side as Scott Curry was rested and the 83-tournament veteran, as ever, led from the front. Regan Ware crossed for the final try, his fourth in Sydney.
New Zealand will now a have a month to recharge before the March 3-5 Las Vegas tournament.
New Zealand 29 (Rocky Khan, Dylan Collier, DJ Forbes, Trael Joass, Regan Ware tries; Khan con, Isaac Te Tamaki con)
Australia 14 (Lachie Anderson, Brandon Quinn tries; James Stannard 2 con)
All Blacks Sevens edged in semifinal
The All Blacks Sevens are playing for third in Sydney after being edged 12-5 by England in a physical, niggly Cup semifinal.
Their hopes of defending their 2016 title are gone but they can make still headway up the standings should they take the bronze when they face hosts Australia at 8.24pm.
New Zealand again had their moments, but they could not win enough of the big ones to get over the top of England, who were strong at the breakdown and scored two fine tries.
Regain Ware opened the scoring for New Zealand from a nicely timed long pass from Tim Mikkelson, but a second try was ruled out for a forward pass from Mikkelson to Ware.
Vilimoni Koroi made two trysaving tackles, but England still scored, via Ollie Lindsay-Hague, from the second.
England will now face South Africa in the 8.51pm Cup final.
England 12 (Phil Burgess, Ollie Lindsay-Hague tries; Tom Mitchell con)
New Zealand 5 (Regan Ware try)
All Blacks Sevens with quarterfinal thriller
The All Blacks Sevens are into the Sydney Cup semifinals after an enthralling and dramatic 24-21 victory over their old nemesis Fiji in the quarter-finals.
With the heat and humidity through the roof, the two great rivals had a see-saw tussle in which three yellow cards were dished out, including one against Sherwin Stowers for a high shot. It looked like New Zealand would not get the rub of the green after a couple of dubious calls, but they went end to end for Sione Molia to score in the final seconds for the win, which helped ease defeat to Fiji in the corresponding fixture last weekend in Wellington.
Iopu Iopu-Aso opened the scoring and when Regan Ware scored in the corner, it appeared New Zealand had capitalised on Fijian ill-discipline, which saw Vatemo Ravovou and Kalione Nasoko binned. But the brilliant Jerry Tuwai engineered two critical scores for Fiji before halftime.
A Tim Mikkelson quick tap led to Stowers' try before the latter was yellow carded, but Nasoko's second took Fiji to 21-17 before the last minute heroics.
New Zealand will face England, who beat Argentina 24-7, in the Cup semifinal at 5.53pm (NZT) with their hopes of defending their 2016 Sydney title still very much alive.
New Zealand 24 (Iopu Iopu-Aso, Regan Ware, Sherwin Stowers, Sione Molia tries; Vilimoni Koroi con, Rocky Khan con)
Fiji 21 (Kalione Nasoko 2, Sevuloni Mocenacagi tries; Osea Kolinisau 2 con, Vatemo Ravouvou con)
HT: 14-12 Fiji