New Zealand had glory snatched from them in the final seconds as England won a dramatic final of the Wellington sevens rugby tournament 19-17 tonight.
On course to celebrate a fifth title in the popular tournament's 10th year, it was instead England wearing their maiden crown after a gloriously dramatic finish.
With New Zealand leading 17-12 and both sides reduced to six men, England stopped a promising New Zealand attack and surged 60m themselves, creating an overlap for jubilant forward Isoa Damudamu to cross next to the posts.
Veteran halfback Ben Gollings calmly slotted the winning conversion and silenced a previously raucous Westpac Stadium as he was mobbed by his teammates - ecstatic at having fought back from a 17-0 deficit after eight minutes.
It was deserved title for the English, who were the best attacking side throughout the two days, scoring the most tries (23) while captain Ollie Phillips was the leading tryscorer with seven.
New Zealand's roller coaster campaign, which had passion rather than panache as its cornerstone, was denied at the death as the defence that had held them in good stead all day was broken.
New Zealand captain DJ Forbes was devastated to lose in such agonising fashion.
"It was a lot of silly mistakes at crucial times. We led all the way and to stuff it up like that was heartbreaking," Forbes told NZPA.
"It was their (England's) day but the hard thing is that we could easily have won that game. We can learn from it."
The New Zealanders scored just six tries today but defence saw off classy South Africa 7-0 in the quarterfinals then Argentina 10-7 in the semis.
However, they ran out of puff when it most counted as halfback Tomasi Cama and England's Rob Vickerman both cooled their heels in the sinbin following an exchange of blows.
It was a disappointing second loss of discipline from Cama, who was sent off in the opening loss to Wales yesterday for punching.
The result sees New Zealand and England move level into second place on the International Rugby Board standings through three rounds on 44 points, with leaders South Africa now just four points clear.
"We've still got another tournament and as far as the series goes, we've snuck up a little bit," Forbes said.
"We're closing on the lead, which is a good thing.
"We really struggled hard to even make the quarters yesterday. We lost to Wales so we really dug deep to even make the final."
New Zealand lost nothing in the leadership count, with Forbes carrying a lower leg hairline fracture into today yet he saw out all three games and later admitted he had played in considerable pain.
Forbes was at heart of pack that also comprised relative newcomers Tu Umaga Marshall of Wellington and Otago's Paul Grant for the last two games.
Experienced forward Edwin Cocker broke his ankle against South Africa which will rule him out next week's tournament at San Diego and the World Cup in Dubai next month.
New Zealand dominated the opening exchanges of the final and it was no surprise when they scored first, through Grant.
Zar Lawrence, who had a fine second day, crossed soon afterwards before Forbes stripped an Englishman of possession and dive over to seemingly sink a dagger in the English hearts.
However, Phillips gave his side some momentum with a try on the stroke of halftime, outpacing the cover defence to have them trailing 5-17.
England charged closer when Lote Raikabula threw a loose pass which was intercepted by Vickerman on halfway and he wasn't touched on his dash to the line.
New Zealand stopped the rot for a spell and seemed to have proceedings in hand when replacement Tim Mikkelson shot clear as the seconds ticked away.
However, he lost possession and his team paid the ultimate price.
Earlier New Zealand shoved aside Argentina, outclassing the previously-unbeaten South Americans two tries to one.
It was a semifinal win that was more comfortable than the scoreline suggested, with Argentina crossing for their sole try by Martin Rodriguez in the final act of the game.
Victory was forged in the opening 3-1/2 minutes as backs Zar Lawrence and Nafi Tuitavake scooted over for both long-range tries, taking advantage of lapses in an Argentine defence that has been one of the meanest on show.
Before that it was a war of attrition that ended South Africa's dream start to the IRB series, having won the opening tournaments in Dubai and George, South Africa.
In a nerve-jangling contest, Raikabula broke the stalemate between the two best teams on this year's circuit, crossing for the only try with one minute 15 seconds left on the clock.
Strict Australian referee Andrew Lees made the decisive call two minutes from time when he sinbinned Mpho Mbiyozo for a blatant foot trip on a stepping Raikabula.
Earlier England hammered a tired Kenya 24-0 in their semifinal, with the impressive Phillips scoring three of their four tries.
The English also impressed in hammering Fiji 31-10 in their quarterfinal after going two tries down.
South Africa won the Plate final, beating Wales 26-12.