Sevens team record victories on Day One at Oceania Sevens

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With both teams trialing combinations and making use of the extended squads, the weekend is about giving all players quality game time to stake their claim for Olympic selection.

 

The All Blacks Sevens opened the day against Oceania and Caleb Clarke wasted little time in running in his first of two tries. It was to be the only scoring play of the opening half, and Oceania scored a five pointer early in the second to even the playing field.

 

Tries to Clarke, Will Warbrick and Akuila Rokolisoa cemented the victory 28-5.

 

The Black Ferns Sevens ran in a massive nine tries in their 53-0 win against Oceania, Michaela Blyde with a hat trick, Stacey Fluhler and Portia Woodman grabbing a brace each while Shiray Kaka and Jaz Hotham also dotted down.

 

 

In the evening session both teams were challenged, the men against Australia and the women, Fiji.

 

Amanaki Nicole produced one of the plays of the day with a try saving tackle in one corner of the field that led to a turnover, before scoring in the same phase of play at the opposite end of the park.

 

Warbrick and captain Tim Mikkelson also scored from defensive turnovers before three unanswered tries saw Australia take the lead 21-17. Dylan Collier scored the winning try and the team were forced to defend strongly to close out the game.

 

The Black Ferns Sevens were shocked by a fast-starting Fiji side who ran out to an early 14-0 advantage. Able to build pressure, the Black Ferns Sevens found space out wide which was exploited by the pace of Portia Woodman, with a hat trick, Michaela Blyde and Shakira Baker for a 33-14 win.

 

All Blacks Sevens Coach Clark Laidlaw was encouraged by the opening day.

 

“Getting back into the routine of a tournament is important, as is playing live rugby again. We mix and matched the teams and watching some of those younger players find a way to win against Australia was encouraging.

 

“It sets us up nicely for the rest of the weekend, parts of the games we were really happy with and there are some parts that we can probably tidy up.

 

“We’ve got some players that have never played against Fiji before, so they’ll be looking forward to that today,” said Laidlaw.

 

Black Ferns Sevens Co-Coach Allan Bunting also enjoyed seeing his side back in tournament mode.

 

“There are some areas of the game we have been working on and we showed some growth in those areas which is good.

 

“Fiji hit us hard abut the good thing about our players is they are good at finding a way to win when we are down. The challenge is how do we do that from the start and not get behind on the scoreboard,” said Bunting.

 

Both teams open today’s matches against arguably their biggest rivals with the All Blacks Sevens meeting Fiji and the Black Ferns Sevens playing Australia. They close out the day with matches against Oceania. All matches are live on Sky Sports.

 

Day Two schedule

4.22pm All Blacks Sevens v Fiji

5.06pm Black Ferns Sevens v Australia

9.52pm All Blacks Sevens v Oceania

10.14pm Black Ferns Sevens v Oceania

 

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