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Black Ferns Sevens wrap up title in style

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/06/2017
Black Ferns © Getty Images Black Ferns

Champions New Zealand have completed a near-perfect season in the women's sevens world series, storming to victory over Australia in the final round's decider.

The Black Ferns Sevens won five of six tournaments and put the icing on the cake in Clermont-Ferrand, France where they were barely threatened.

Needing to win their quarter-final on Sunday to ensure they secured a fourth world crown, the New Zealanders did so emphatic style, dismantling Fiji 31-7.

Rookie Alena Saili scored two of their five tries.

Hosts France were beaten 21-7 in the semi-finals before New Zealand pulled away late to win the final 22-7.

Ruby Tui's early try was cancelled out by Australian Shannon Parry before Niall Williams put the Black Ferns 12-7 ahead at halftime.

Dominance of possession in the second created further New Zealand tries to Michaela Blyde and Shakira Baker.

Blyde finished with 40 tries for the season, the most by any player.

Tyla Nathan-Wong, standing in as captain for the unavailable Sarah Goss, marvelled at her team's strides made since last year, when Australia won the world series and an Olympic gold medal.

"It means so much. This season we really stepped up and really brought it to them and it shows. Five from six and now world series champions," she said.

"We've worked really hard this season and it's not just been the 14 here, it's been the whole squad and the management too.

"It's been an amazing culture and an amazing season."

New Zealand won 35 of their 36 matches this season.

The exception was a loss to the United States in the semi-finals of the Sydney tournament in round two.

Final standings: New Zealand 116 points, Australia 100, Canada 98, Fiji 66, Russia 66, United States 62.

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