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Canada win has Black Ferns Sevens on track

World Rugby

Lynn McConnell     29 May 2017     World Rugby

The win lifted New Zealand 14 points clear on the series points table with one round still to play in France on June 24-25. They have 96 points, from their four tournament wins during the series, while Canada and Australia share 82 points with Russia fourth on 58.

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It's been Michaela Blyde's tournament, she finished with nine tries, and it was no surprise when she opened the scoring with a stunning try, beating four Canada defenders on her way to the goal-line.

Soon after, a planned move from a lineout saw Niallå Williams on a dummy run which created space for Tyla Nathan-Wong to go through for the try.

However, Canada struck back whenå taking advantage of New Zealand's bunched defence and it was Julia Greenshields who scored for the home side.

Shakira Baker looked set to score only to be denied by Greenshields' tackle while in the follow-up play it took Nathan-Wong to pull down Bianca Farella to prevent her from scoring.

Thirty seconds from the end New Zealand suffered what appeared to be a crucial knock-on giving the hosts a key scrum. Canada secured the ball but in the next phase Ruby Tui, who was awarded the player of the final title, applied the pressure and the ball was turned over.
The ball was moved wide and Alena Saili got over in the corner to seal the win.

Canada had beaten Australia 17-10 to qualify for the final.

The Black Ferns started the second day with a 24-0 win over Russia in their quarter-final. Saili and Tui opened the scoring with tries, and then Tui drew the Russian defence to allow Blyde to run in for her first try of the day. Crystal Mayes finished the scoring with the final try.

Captain Tyla Nathan-Wong said it had taken the side some time to get their feet on the first day but they had finished strongly against England and brought that form through to the second day.

'We wanted a solid 'd' [defence] line and that's what we got with all the girls working hard for each other," she said.

That left New Zealand to play France, who have never beaten the Black Ferns, in the semi-final. Mayes gave New Zealand a good start with the first try after three minutes. Blyde scored after seven minutes and New Zealand went to the half leading 14-0.

Replacement Williams came on a minute into the second half and made an immediate impact with a try and the lead was extended soon after when Katarina Whata crossed. France scored a consolation try in the last minute.