The New Zealand women set the stage for their male counterparts today by winning the World Cup for the first time yesterday. The team, playing under the banner of the Aotearoa Maori Women, out-muscled the Aussie Rats 19-12 in a physical final. New Zealand women's teams are regular winners of the Hong Kong Sevens title, but this was their first World Cup. The 15s side are two-time world champions. New Zealand coach Peter Joseph said his side appreciated the final being played in front of yesterday's full house. 'It's recognition for women's sevens,' he said. 'We were all nervous before the game. This tournament is going to be something the team will never forget.' The crucial try came from 18-year-old Victoria Blackledge, who broke a 12-12 deadlock with just one minute to go. 'We should have extended our 12-0 lead during the first half,' said Joseph, who has coached the team for four years. 'We thought we were faster but we were forced to play their style of rugby and it became confrontational. It was anyone's game until we made the break at the end.' New Zealand took a 12-0 lead after Lavinia Gould and Kellie Kiwi scored two tries early in the first half. But Australia kept coming back and levelled the scores soon after the restart, thanks to Anna Richards and Alex Hargraves. Australia had a golden chance to win the game but Hargraves was bundled into touch with the corner flag. With limited resources and players scattered all over New Zealand, the team only got together a week before the tournament and practised for about two-and-a-half days. Most of the players are amateurs and working mothers at the same time. A mother of children aged six and 13, team captain Annie Brown said it was difficult for them to juggle practice, work and child-raising. 'Three of us have children to look after and I have to work, too. It's really hard to do all the trainings and go to the training camps. 'But you can do it if you want to make it,' said Brown, 33. A lot of people may think rugby is too violent for women, but Brown said it was a healthy sport which could widen women's social circle and broaden their horizons. 'The game isn't violent at all. It is a way for women to express themselves. Instead of staying at home and doing the everyday stuff, you get to meet new people, sometimes people from other countries, as I did in this tournament,' she said.