New Zealand claim World Women’s Sevens Series despite Amsterdam disappointment

May 24 • General News, International, Sevens Rugby, Sevens World Series, World Rugby • 1751 Views • Comments Off on New Zealand claim World Women’s Sevens Series despite Amsterdam disappointment

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    New Zealand has won the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series for the third time, but the win came during a disappointing final tournament in Amsterdam this weekend.

New Zealand suffered a quarterfinal defeat to England, then won the Plate Final over France, in completing their World Series win.  After winning the first four legs in Dubai (November), Brazil (February), USA (March), and Canada (April), New Zealand couldn’t repeat their wins in England last weekend or Amsterdam.

Canada won their first Final when scoring a late winner to beat Australia 20-17 while England beat the United States in the third and fourth play-off 15-14 to secure the fourth qualifying spot for next year’s Olympic Games.

New Zealand finished the six-round Series with 108 points, Canada were second on 96, Australia took third with 94 and England finished on 76 points to claim fourth from the United States who also scored 76 points.

Despite losing two players over the last two tournaments – first Lavinia Gould who was replaced by Selica Winiata before the start of pool play in England, and then Tyla Nathan Wong, who was injured during the England 7s and replaced by Kayla McAlister –  New Zealand Head Coach Sean Horan said the team was very clear about what they wanted to achieve.

“The World Series win was a performance goal of ours along with nailing Olympic qualification, but it’s a bit bittersweet with the way we finished in the final fortnight,” Horan said.

“The gap has closed dramatically, the competition is fierce, and great, so it’s special to win a third World Series title.”

England made the first impact in the quarterfinal with Amy Wilson-Hardy scoring the first try. But New Zealand’s response was stunning.

Kayla McAlister saw a gap, stepped her way through and then sprinted 50 metres to score.

However, Natasha Hunt scored for England to go to the half leading 10-7.

Captain Sarah Goss beat four defenders to open the second half scoring to give New Zealand a 14-10 lead but strong running from Emily Scarratt saw her out-pace New Zealand’s defence to score.

Try as New Zealand might they couldn’t regain the lead and England won 17-14.

New Zealand then faced Russia in the Plate competition.

Gayle Broughton and Shiray Tane ensured New Zealand made a good start with tries, including two to Tane before Russia scored from a tap penalty through Zhaana Matveeva. Leading 17-5 at the break, New Zealand attacked and Katarina Whata-Simpkins scored a hat-trick of tries as New Zealand qualified for the Plate Final against France with a 31-5 win.

France scored first through Camille Grassineau but New Zealand came back strongly, firstly through Honey Hireme beating two tacklers to score and then McAlister crossing.

Portia Woodman showed her power and speed to score her 52nd try of the season while McAlister and Broughton rounded out the scoring for a 35-5 win.

Amsterdam 7s

Plate Final:
New Zealand 35 France 5
Playoff for Plate Final:
New Zealand 31 Russia 5
New Zealand 14 England 17

Pool play:
New Zealand 5 USA 34
New Zealand 31 South Africa 7
New Zealand 32 Fiji 0

World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series tournaments

Dubai (won by New Zealand)
November 2014

Sao Paulo, Brazil (won by New Zealand)
7-8 February

Atlanta, USA (won by New Zealand)
14-15 March

Langford, Canada (won by New Zealand)
18-19 April

London, England (won by Australia)
15-16 May

Amsterdam, Netherlands (won by Canada)
22-23 May

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