New Zealand beat Australia 21-17 in the Cup
Final of the HSBC Canada Women's Sevens in Langford on Sunday.
The Black Ferns Sevens have also confirmed their place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
a guaranteed top four finish in the World Rugby Women's Sevens
New Zealand now lead the standings with 92
points after their fourth title in five rounds, followed by USA
(80), Canada (78) and Australia (74) with France now 14 points
adrift of a coveted top four spot, with only one round remaining.
The trans-Tasman rivalry has been the most
common final on the women's series with this the 15th occurrence
in 36 tournaments, but it was in complete contrast to the 2018
final when New Zealand blew Australia away with a sublime display
of attacking rugby to win 46-0.
Australia haven't beaten New Zealand since the
Sydney final in 2018, but they opened the scoring when Ellia Green
got away from Michaela Blyde and the covering Tyla Nathan-Wong to
score in the left corner.
The Black Ferns Sevens hit back when teenager
Dhys Faleafaga shrugged off a tackle and flicked a pass over her
shoulder to her captain Sarah Hirini, who coasted over with little
resistance from Australia. Their second try was similar with
Nathan-Wong drawing Charlotte Caslick before offloading to Niall
Williams to cut through the gap and run under the posts for a 14-5
lead with a minute to play in the first half.
That was enough time, though, for Australia to
respond as Alicia Quirk and Caslick combined well down the left
before the latter had Emma Tonegato in support to finish off the
move and cut the deficit to four at the break and keep the crowd
on the edge of their seats.
New Zealand increased that lead when Hirini
offloaded to Nathan-Wong, who handed off Emma Sykes to run under
the posts to give herself an easy conversion, but Australia kept
pushing for a way back into the game with Green intercepting
Williams' long pass to grab her second of the final with barely 30
seconds to go. The restart was adjudged to have been knocked
forward, though, and from the resulting scrum Kelly Brazier kicked
the ball out to start the celebrations.
“That was a tough final – we knew it was going
to be tough coming up against Australia,” said Nathan-Wong,
who was named HSBC Player of the Final for the second time this
season. “Both teams came out hot, we worked hard and I’m proud of
the girls going out there and executing our game plan, working
hard for each other and leaving it all out there. Last year we put a pretty high score on
Australia and we knew they wouldn’t let us get away with it again
and they didn’t, so credit to them for coming out here and really
working us – they scored some pretty good and long range tries but
full credit to our girls for hanging in tough until the very end. It’s pretty fantastic to know that we’ve
qualified our country for the Olympics especially as there’s only
one tournament left. We’re going to want to work hard over these
next few weeks, build towards our last tournament in France and
hopefully go out there and put on another good show.”
The final tournament on the HSBC World Rugby
Women's Sevens Series takes place in Biarritz, France on 15-16
Pictures from 2019 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Pictures from 2018 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens,
Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens,
Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015,
Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong
Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015,
Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong,
Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014,
Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013,
of Chartis Cup 2012 and
Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.