Black Ferns Sevens victorious in Las Vegas

World Rugby     05 Mar 2017     World Rugby

It capped a stellar tournament for the side, who went unbeaten across both days and defeated Olympic Gold medallists Australia twice – once in pool play and again in the final.

The win is New Zealand’s second on the 2016/17 circuit and extends their lead at the top of the Women’s Sevens World Series standings to six points over Australia.


The Black Ferns wrapped up the title in style with a complete all round display against Australia in the final. Their defence had been a strength all tournament, and so it was again in the final as Australia could only cross the line once to New Zealand’s four tries. After six tense opening minutes, the Black Ferns Sevens broke the deadlock by crossing for two quick tries to make it 14-0 at the break. Australia never recovered as the Black Ferns Sevens added tries to Portia Woodman and Alena Saili early in the second half to make it 28-0. A late consolation try made closed the gap to 28-5 but in the end it was New Zealand’s day.

After being named Player of the Final, Ruby Tui, said:
“It is a buzz to win, but anyone in the team could have got it. This is for the team. It’s not hard to get up for a game like that, you say Australia and we just get up, the goosebumps, such a buzz. The crowd too were amazing."
Earlier in the day, the Black Ferns Sevens needed to overcome Russia to progress to the semifinals. It was another clinical performance from the Black Ferns Sevens as they crossed for four tries to secure a comfortable 26-5 win. While their organisation on defence was again to the fore, it was the superior finishing and fitness that shone out as the Alan Bunting-coached side finished the game strong.

The victory over Russia set up a semifinal showdown with hosts USA. Buoyed by a passionate home crowd, USA crossed for an early try to take a 7-0 lead. The Black Ferns Sevens struck with a try to Michaela Blyde but still trailed 7-5 at the break. In a tense second half, New Zealand crossed through a fine finish by Niall Williams in what was to be the only try of the half. The Black Ferns Sevens defence held firm to secure the 12-7 win and confirm the gold medal showdown with arch-rivals Australia.

It was an all-North American battle for the Bronze when Canada defeated hosts USA 31-7 in a repeat of the Sydney Sevens final.

The next tournament is in Kitakyushu, Japan on April 22-23.