New Zealand sevens teams clinch Cup final places after dominant wins

Sun, Jan 22
Black Ferns sevens star Portia Woodman-Wickcliffe fends off Ireland's Natasja Behan on her way to the try line in the World Series sevens semifinal in Hamilton.

The New Zealand men’s and women’s teams are in the Cup finals of the Hamilton World Series sevens tournament after dominant semifinal victories.

The Black Ferns sevens began proceedings by thrashing Ireland 32-0 in their semifinal and the All Blacks sevens did likewise by hammering France 38-0 in a match which became bad-tempered in the second half, with two French players sinbinned.

The Black Ferns sevens will play the USA in their final, with the All Blacks sevens playing Argentina. Regardless of the result, the Black Ferns, currently level on points with Australia, who suffered a surprise loss to USA in their semifinal, will take a series lead.

For the women, 18-year-old Jorja Miller was an early standout with two first-half tries. Michaela Blyde also scored a double with Stacey Fluhler and Portia Woodman-Wickcliffe scoring one each.

The All Blacks sevens, the tournament defending champions, dominated France from start to finish. After conceding only six tries over the two days of the tournament, the home side will be big favourites to defend their title.

Leroy Carter was over for a try after only 15 seconds after his side won the kick-off and the match was virtually over when Regan Ware dotted down and Carter scored his second.

Akuila Rokolisoa scored a second-half double, with Roderick Solo also scoring.

The French, who hardly fired an attacking shot, lost Laborde Dorian to the sinbin for a dangerous tackle, with Paulin Riva joining him after being accused of inciting the resulting melee.

The Black Ferns are scheduled to play USA at 7.26pm, with the All Blacks sevens due to play Argentina at 7.56pm.


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