The Black Ferns Sevens have opened the 2018/19 Women’s Sevens Series with a dominant performance at the Glendale Sevens, winning the title with victory over USA in the Cup Final.
A strong opening match against China saw Portia Woodman grab her first hattrick of the weekend in a 45-0 win.
A tough pool also saw matches against England (28-7) and the hosts, USA (35-12) on the way to setting up a quarterfinal match against Ireland.
Winger Michaela Blyde showed her attacking flair with three tries in the 34-7 win, the team advancing to semifinal against Canada.
In a see-saw battle, the Black Ferns Sevens went try for try with Canada until a late five-pointer to Captain Sarah Goss secured the win, 28-19.
A thrilling semifinal victory over France by USA set up a rematch in the Final, the home side coming out firing with the opening try of the game.
After that however, it was one-way traffic, Woodman securing another hattrick on the way to a 33-7 victory.
Ruby Tui was named the Player of the Final.
Success at Glendale extends the Black Ferns Sevens unbeaten streak to 33 matches and six consecutive tournament titles.
Coach Allan Bunting said the team had a short preseason in the build up to the Glendale tournament but that was not evident on the field.
“We had learnt a lot from the first couple of tournaments last season about mindset and getting into the game right from the start.
Bunting said the semifinal against Canada provided a tough challenge after a dominant pool-play performance.
“We needed that game. Canada are a competitive team and we learnt a lot from that match that we took through to the final.”
On top of claiming the title, Bunting said he was especially pleased with seeing all 12 players get game time.
“I’m proud of the way all our players went across the weekend, it was an opportunity to continue to grow depth in our playing group and this was a great experience for some of the younger players.”
Black Ferns Sevens 2018-2019 schedule
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 20-21 October, Glendale – WINNERS
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 29-30 November, Dubai
Fast Four tournament, 26-27 January, Hamilton
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 1-3 February, Sydney
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 20-21 April, Kitakyushu
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 11-12 May, Langford
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 31 June – 2 July, Paris