New Zealand moved a step closer to regaining the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series title in Langford, Canada, on Sunday when they put in a gutsy display in the final against the home side that was enjoying playing in front of a partisan and packed crowd.
A barnstorming display by Rubi Tui that won her the HSBC Player of the Final award, spearheaded an impressive Black Ferns Sevens performance as the series champions-in-waiting registered a 17-7 victory in the final.
Two early NZ tries from Michaella Blyde (one of a remarkable nine she scored this weekend) and Tyla Nathan-Wong, rocked the home team, who found themselves 12-0 down with just three minutes gone. An eerie hush descended on Westhills Stadium, which just moments before had cheered raucously after a rousing rendition of ‘Oh Canada’.
But if anyone thought it was going to be a stroll in the park for New Zealand, that’s not how it would pan out as Canada fought their way back into the game. Indeed, with captain Ghislaine Landry leading from the front, Canada threatened to upset the Kiwis and they hit before the break with a try from speedster Julia Greenshields.
And that’s the way it stayed until the final play of the game when replacement Alena Saili crossed in the corner to seal the deal for New Zealand. Led by Tui, Theresa Fitzpatrick and Niall Williams, NZ did their best to control the ball in that tense second half and they were largely successful, frustrating the home side by denying them possession at every turn.
Meanwhile, Australia beat France 26-12 to win bronze while Fiji lifted the Challenge trophy, beating Spain 31-7 in the final.
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Click HERE for Sevens Series Standings
Oceania Teams Results:
New Zealand 17 Netherlands 10
New Zealand 7 USA 0
New Zealand 43 England 7
Australia 26 Spain 0
Australia 21 Ireland 0
Australia 24 Fiji 24
Fiji 14 Ireland 19
Fiji 7 Spain 12
Challenge Trophy Semi-final: Fiji 24 Brazil 17
Challenge Trophy Final: Fiji 31 Spain 7
Cup Quarter-finals: Canada 33 England 5 Australia 22 USA 10 France 19 Ireland 5 New Zealand 24 Russia 0
Cup Semi-finals: Canada 17 Australia 10 New Zealand 28 France 5 Bronze Final: Australia 26 France 12
Cup Final: New Zealand 17 Canada 7