Black Ferns crash out of Kitakyushu Sevens

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
Rugby,
Publish Date
Sunday, 21 April 2019, 2:58PM
Niall Williams of New Zealand looks dejected during the cup quarter final match between USA and New Zealand. (Photo / Getty)
Niall Williams of New Zealand looks dejected during the cup quarter final match between USA and New Zealand. (Photo / Getty)

The Black Ferns Sevens have crashed out of the Kitakyushu Sevens after being handed a 26-19 quarter-final defeat by the USA.

The defeat ends New Zealand's streak of six tournament victories which began at the Japanese tournament last year.

The last time New Zealand were knocked out in the quarter-final stage was at the Dubai event in December 2017, also a defeat to the USA.

The Black Ferns Sevens will battle Russia in the fifth-placed semifinals, a side they drew with in pool play.

In today's game, New Zealand were playing catch-up for most of the quarter-final after the USA opening the scoring in the third minute through Naya Tapper. New Zealand debutant Dhys Faleafaga closed the gap two minutes later before the USA scored on either side of halftime with tries to Kris Thomas and Alev Kelter.

Down 19-5, two tries to Niall Williams tied the game up going into the final two minutes, however USA substitute Kristi Kirshe scored the match-winner to confirm New Zealand's exit from the main draw.

New Zealand went into the tournament with a 12-point lead over the USA in the series standings. Defending Series winners Australia were also knocked out in the quarters, defeated by England 21-7.

The Olympic silver medalists and World Cup winners were without Michaela Blyde, Kelly Brazier, Gayle Broughton, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Huia Harding, Kat Whata-Simpkins and Portia Woodman.

 

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