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Black Ferns Sevens enter Sydney cauldron

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/02/2017

Sarah Goss. © Simon Watts/Getty Images Sarah Goss. Have the Black Ferns Sevens poked the Australian bear?

That's what captain Sarah Goss and her team will find out when they contest the second round of the women's world series in Sydney starting on Friday.

New Zealand marched imperiously through the opening tournament in Dubai in December, unbeaten in six games including a 17-5 win over Olympic champions Australia in the final.

That was the teams' first meeting since Australia claimed victory in the gold medal match in Rio.

And while nothing could make up for falling short in Brazil, Goss is delighted with the way her team have responded under new coach Allan Bunting, particularly over the last two months.

"I'm excited after the success in Dubai," she said.

"The players didn't rest. They went home and did a lot of work in their own regions and played well at nationals and put their hands up to play again this weekend."

Australia have stated their determination to perform on home soil, with the smart money resting firmly on a trans-Tasman decider on Saturday.

Before than, the Black Ferns Sevens must overcome Canada, France and Papua New Guinea in pool play.

There is one uncapped player in the 12-woman Kiwi squad, with Invercargill teenager Alena Saili having impressed at the national championship.

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