Home » World » Black Ferns win World Series sevens title in Toulouse over arch rivals Australia – World news

Black Ferns win World Series sevens title in Toulouse over arch rivals Australia – World news

Black Ferns win World Series sevens title in Toulouse over arch rivals Australia – World news

The Black Ferns women’s sevens team have won their first title since returning to the world stage after beating world champions Australia in the final in Toulouse.

New Zealand – the Tokyo Olympic gold medallists – avenged their defeat to the Australians in the Canada sevens final with a brilliant 21-14 comeback victory on Sunday (Monday morning NZ time) to clinch their first title since Sydney in 2020.

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New Zealand captain Sarah Hirini (R) has led the Black Ferns to the Toulouse title in the World Series Sevens championship.

Mike Lee/KLC Fotos for World Rugby/Photosport

New Zealand captain Sarah Hirini (R) has led the Black Ferns to the Toulouse title in the World Series Sevens championship.

Australia led 14-7 at halftime, but the Black Ferns held them scoreless in the second spell and scored two tries to Alena Sail soon after the re-start and Kelly Brazier in the 12th minute.

Demi Hayes gave Australia a lead in the second minute ofthe first before Risi Pouri-Lane tied it up for the Kiwis with a converted try.

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But Faith Nathan dotted down for Australia just before the break for the seven-point advantage.

That was soon erased when Sail scampered over in the eighth minute and Brazier got the match-winning try.

The Black Ferns were rewarded for some sustained pressure with captain Sarah Hirini making a slashing run upfield. Brazier backed up at the ruck and caught the Australian defence napping with a deft dart to the try-line.

Michaela Blyde, pictured earlier in the tournament, made a try-saving tackle in the grand final win over Australia in Toulouse.

Mike Lee/KLC Fotos for World Rugby/Photosport

Michaela Blyde, pictured earlier in the tournament, made a try-saving tackle in the grand final win over Australia in Toulouse.

Michaela Blyde, the Black Ferns’ prolific try-scorer, pulled off a potential match-saving tackle in the final play, dragging down Australian captain Charlotte Caslick from behind.

The Toulouse title was a fitting end to a month on the road for the Black Ferns, and Hirini – the player of the final – paid tribute to her side after the final tournament of the season.

“I love this team,’’ she said in a television interview.

“We haven’t played for a very long time and to now win a tournament ,iit’s pretty exciting.’’

Hirini said she didn’t need to say much at halftime to inspire the comeback.

“I don’t change much. I’ve got an amazing group around me and some of the best players in the world. When they are going forward I just can get off the back of that.’’

Hirini said it had been a “really hard’’ final because Australia were “an amazing team and obviously they’ve won the world series’’.

Black Ferns coach Cory Sweeney clinched his first title as head coach and said it was “a proud moment and an emotional moment for us all.

“After Langford we worked on a few things, had some awesome training sessions and we put that into practice this week.”

The Black Ferns had earlier earlier beat Fiji 24-14 in the semifinals after doubles by Michaela Blyde and Hirini.

Reapi Ulunisau and Alowesi Nakoci scored second half tries for Fiji, but the Black Ferns were alwys in command.

Australia thrashed Ireland 40-7 in the other semifinal.

New Zealand, who missed part of the series due to Covid concerns, finished fifth overall on 57 points.

Australia finished top on 80 points while France were second on 60 points, Fiji were third also on 60 points and Ireland, also on 60, just missed out on a top three finish due to a weaker points difference.

Men’s series

Fiji won the men’s title in Toulouse, beating first-time finalists Ireland 29-17.

“Teamwork in defence and attack was what this victory was built on. We kept the ball well and stuck to our game plan,’’ Fiji’s Tevita Dagunu said.

“To all the Fijians around the globe, this win is for you.”

New Zealand's Dylan Collier (R) in action in Toulouse where the All Blacks Sevens team won the bowl final against Scotland.

Mike Lee/ KLC fotos for World Rugby/via Photosport

New Zealand’s Dylan Collier (R) in action in Toulouse where the All Blacks Sevens team won the bowl final against Scotland.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s All Black Sevens took their frustrations of not making the Cup knock-out phase out on Scotland in the men’s ninth place play-off, winning 42-7.

Ngarohi McGarvey-Black, Caleb Tangitau (2), Dylan Collier and Akuila Rokolisoa (2) were their try scorers in the game with Scotland’s only try coming through Jamie Farndale after a superb offload by Kaleem Barreto.

Earlier on in the semi-finals, Joe Webber, Regan Ware (2), Ngarohi McGarvey-Black and Caleb Tangitau (2) scored tries as New Zealand saw off Spain 36-7 while Scotland secured one of their best victories of recent times. Jamie Farndale, Jordan Edmunds, Ross McCann and Robbie Fergusson scored tries as they go the better of South Africa 24-21.

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