Finals day looms large for sevens teams in Townsville

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The Black Ferns Sevens progressed through day two with two convincing wins over Australia and Oceania, while the All Blacks Sevens picked up a win against Oceania and suffered a narrow loss against Fiji which they will be looking to rectify in their final encounter this evening.

In typical Fijian style, the opposition capitilised on All Blacks Sevens errors in the first half of their opening match and went ahead 14-7 at the break, Tone Ng Shiu contributing to the score line with a blockbusting run to the try line.

Fiji extended the lead after the break before the All Blacks Sevens showed a mix of composure and flair, Trael Joass and Will Warbrick scoring tries to bring the deficit to just two points. A penalty on the full-time whistle gave the All Blacks Sevens a chance to win the match but the attempt at goal flew across the face of the uprights, Fiji holding on for the 21-19 win.

The Black Ferns Sevens faced old rivals Australia and put on a clinical performance, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Michaela Blyde and Ruby Tui crossing for a 17-0 half time lead.

Tui added to her try tally in the second spell, while Shiray Kaka was impactful off the bench with a brace, the Black Ferns Sevens winning 34-5.

Both sides met the Oceania teams in the last matches of the day in what was another tight encounter for the All Blacks Sevens.

Captain Tim Mikkelson, Ngarohi McGarvey-Black and Sione Molia crossed for tries in the 21-17 win.

The Black Ferns Sevens rotated players for their last match of the day which saw young faces step up on the international stage, Jazmin Hotham crossed for two tries, while Dhys Faleafaga, Shiray Kaka, Stacey Fluhler and Portia Woodman all picked up five pointers in the 34-7 win.

All Blacks Sevens Assistant Coach Tomasi Cama said the fight in the All Blacks Sevens team was pleasing.

“Against Fiji we missed opportunities early on and off our mistakes they scored their tries, but we fought our way back into the game.

“Oceania challenged us and were physical at the breakdown. You have game plans and structures in place but sometimes you just need to find a way to win those games and we did,” said Cama.

Black Ferns Sevens Co-Coach Cory Sweeney said yesterday was a good day at the office.

“It was a much more clinical performance this morning in the first game, we needed to show more accuracy compared to where we were against Fiji. We demonstrated how we want to play the game, good energy, calmness and accuracy.

“In the second game, we saw players that haven’t had a lot of game time and man did they show up – it puts pressure on us as coaches for selection,” said Sweeney.

Both teams come up against Fiji and Australia in the final day’s action.

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