New Zealand Crowned RWC7s Womens Championships, Aussies take Bronze

Oceania Rugby, Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:28AM

Blackfern 7s celebrate with their gold medals at 2018 RWC7s

Defending champions New Zealand produced a sublime display of attacking rugby to beat first-time finalists France 29-0 on Saturday to become the first nation to win back-to-back Rugby World Cup Sevens titles.


The crowd at AT&T Park in San Francisco were then treated to the Black Ferns Sevens' spine-tingling haka in celebration of a fifth title in as many sevens events after success at the Commonwealth Games and the final three rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series.




New Zealand, who had ended the hopes of host nation USA in the semi-finals, enjoyed the perfect start when Michaela Blyde raced away for her seventh try of the tournament after some good work by Tyla Nathan-Wong.


Their second try came midway through the first half after they turned defence into attack from deep in their own half with a charging run from captain Sarah Goss and calmness from her team-mates to recycle the ball and create the space for Portia Woodman to run in her sixth try in 2018 and 18th in RWC Sevens history.


Nathan-Wong crossed for a third try to make it 15-0 at half-time and put the Black Ferns Sevens on the verge of repeating their victory in Moscow in 2013.


France were unable to find a way through the resolute New Zealand defence and it was left to Blyde to score two quick-fire tries to put the finishing touch on their 27th consecutive victory and pull clear of USA speedster Naya Tapper in the race for the HSBC Top Try Scorer award.


Goss, one of four players to be part of New Zealand's two RWC Sevens successes, said:“It doesn’t get any better. I’m so grateful to be here and for a performance like that and for Michaela Blyde to stand up like that. It’s an amazing day. France are a quality team and for them not to score against us is a proud effort from the sisters.


“We had one goal and that was to take the trophy back and I can’t wait to go home and show it to the New Zealand public.”


New Zealand captain Goss received the UL Mark of Excellence award before lifting the coveted trophy, while France's Anne Cecile Ciofani was named the TUDOR Women's Breakthrough Player of the Tournament accolade after impressing in her first RWC Sevens and scoring the last-gasp winning try against Australia in the semi-finals.


World series champions Australia bounced back from their last-gasp loss to France in the semi-finals to claim the bronze medal with a 24-14 victory over USA. Evania Pelite and Cassie Staples gave Australia the perfect start but two tries from Tapper kept the hosts in the hunt to repeat their bronze of Moscow 2013.


Ellia Green, though, also scored twice, one of them collecting a sublime cross-field kick from Charlotte Caslick in diving over the line.


The teams battled for ninth to 16th places had already provided plenty of drama before the Championship semi-finals with Japan captain Chiharu Nakamura scoring with time up to snatch a 15-14 victory over Fiji. The Fijiana then proved too strong for China with Raijieli Daveua scoring twice in a 38-0 win for 11th place.


There was also cause for Papua New Guinea to celebrate after two tries from Gemma Schnaubelt saw them power past Mexico 32-0 to record their first ever RWC Sevens victory and place 15th at the tournament.


Last updated: Monday July 23, 2018 10:32AM