Black Ferns Sevens and All Blacks Sevens claim Sydney gold

Radio Sport, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Monday, 4 February 2019, 7:53PM
Both Kiwi sevens teams walked away with gold over the weekend. (Photo / NZ Herald)

The Black Ferns Sevens were out for revenge. So were the All Blacks Sevens. Both got what they were looking for.

The Sydney Sevens turned into a New Zealand clean sweep, as both the men's and women's side claimed dominant victories in their respective finals tonight.

The Black Ferns Sevens continued their absolute domination of the Women's World Series, claiming gold with a 34-10 win over Australia. The result was their 48th straight win, with the side having not lost since their 31-0 humbling at the hands of the Australians in Sydney last year.

The All Blacks Sevens, meanwhile, bounced back from a semifinal defeat to the USA in Hamilton last week to defeat the same opponent in the Sydney final, 21-5.

New Zealand now lead the World Sevens standings in both formats, with the women 12 points ahead of the USA, while the men are tied on points with the same foe, but lead on the tiebreaker.

"To beat Australia at home nails it on the head," Black Ferns Sevens captain Sarah Hirini said.

"We're a very competitive side, we don't like to lose and every time we put on that black jersey you want to keep stepping up and you don't want to let your country and family down. That's why we play."

Stacey Waaka put the first points on the board early in the women's final, but when Australian Emma Sykes went over it looked like the New Zealand side would have a fight on their hands.

However, tries in quick succession to Shakira Baker and Michaela Blyde gave the Ferns a comfortable 12-point lead at halftime.

Blyde bagged her second of the night early in the second half to extend the lead, but the Australians hit back again through Sykes to hold on to a glimmer of hope.

But with two minutes left on the clock, Waaka crossed again to put the match out of reach of the Australians, and Blyde claimed her third of the match to close out an impressive win.

The Ferns took out the win without their strongest possible side on the pitch, after first-choice kicker Tyla Nathan-Wong was forced to miss finals day in Sydney after suffering an ankle injury on Saturday. Nathan-Wong was on crutches yesterday and watched from the sidelines as her side claimed the gold medal.

It was similarly lopsided in the men's final, with tries to Regan Ware and Sam Dickson giving New Zealand a 14-0 halftime lead.

Ware finished off a slick move while a USA error led to a counter-attack which Dickson comfortably finished off to create a comfortable buffer at the break.

Tone Ng Shiu put the game out of reach shortly after halftime, and while the USA got one back, it was only a consolation as the All Blacks Sevens claimed their second title of the season.