Black Ferns Sevens storm their way to back-to-back titles

The skies opened over Bankwest Stadium this evening as the Black Ferns Sevens claimed their four consecutive World Series title with a 33-7 win over Canada in the Final of the HSBC Sydney Sevens.

The All Blacks Sevens had earlier taken care of hosts, Australia, in the fifth place Final, unable to play off for silverware after losing to Fiji in pool play yesterday.

To open day two, the Black Ferns Sevens were challenged by England in their last pool match and had to come from behind to secure the 26-12 win.

In a repeat of last week’s semi-final, it was the Stacey Fluhler show against France, the speedster ran in four tries in the 24-7 victory. Tyla Nathan-Wong knocked over two conversions to secure her place in the record books as the second woman, and first kiwi, to score 1000 points in the women’s World Series.

The Black Ferns Sevens were forced to wait for their Final, a thunderstorm seeing all play delayed in the closing stages on the day. Facing Canada, for the third time this season in a Finals fixture, it was by far their most emphatic victory, with five tries confirming the 33-7 win.

Co-Coach Cory Sweeney said it was a massive achievement for the team to back up after their win in Hamilton last weekend.

“We were probably a bit emotional depleted after a big week in Hamilton so it was important to recover and I thought we grew through the tournament.

At times we were really challenged and had to dig deep to get through some of those games and then to get to the Final and have a performance like that – it’s incredibly pleasing.

Sweeney said the team effort was epitomised on day two.

“Ruby is a massive contributor to our team on and off the field so when she was ruled out we knew others were going to have to step up and that’s the beauty of this team, players like Niall and Theresa moving positions and performing as well as they did,” said Sweeney.

The Black Ferns Sevens now hold a commanding 16-point lead atop the World Series standing with three tournaments remaining. Tyla Nathan-Wong was named Player of the Final and in the HSBC Dream Team, alongside Stacey Fluhler who claimed the Impact Player of the Tournament for the second time this season.

The men opened their day two account against Kenya, running in three tries on their way to a 19-5 win. With no quarter-finals, the All Blacks Sevens qualified as top second-placed team and drew the home team, Australia, in the fifth place Final.

In thunderous conditions, the All Blacks Sevens finished in style with a 24-7 win. Sione Molia, Regan Ware, Dylan Collier and Caleb Clarke all crossed for tries.

All Blacks Sevens Assistant Coach Tomasi Cama said while the team was disappointed not to claim any silverware there was plenty to take out of the weekend.

“We didn’t manage to get things right against Fiji last night, but I am proud of the way the boys bounced back against two quality teams today."

After soaring temperatures yesterday, Cama said it was good to see the team adapt well to the wet conditions this evening.

“I think it showed the maturity within the group and a level of confidence to run those types of plays in the rain. While we didn’t get the result we were wanting this weekend, it’s a good learning curve for us and I think will prove to be good for us in the long term,” said Cama.

The All Blacks Sevens maintain their position at the top of the World Series ranking, with South Africa closing the margin to nine points. The next tournament is in Los Angles at the end of this month.

Day Two Results

Pool Play
Black Ferns Sevens 26 (Kelly Brazier, Niall Williams, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Stacey Fluhler tries, Tyla Nathan-Wong 2 Tenika Willison 1 conversion)
England 12

All Blacks Sevens 19 (Salesi Rayasi, Tim Mikkelson, Sam Dickson tries, Scott Curry, Ngarohi McGarvey-Black conversions)
Kenya 5

Semi Final
Black Ferns Sevens 24 (Stacey Fluhler 4 tries, Tyla Nathan-Wong 2 conversions)
France 7

Fifth place Final
All Blacks Sevens 24 (Sione Molia, Regan Ware, Dylan Collier, Caleb Clarke tries, Ngarohi McGarvey-Black 2 conversions)
Australia 7

Black Ferns Sevens 33 Tyla Nathan-Wong, Gayle Broughton, Niall Williams, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Alena Saili tries, Tyla Nathan-Wong 4 conversions)
Canada 7