Rugby: NZ women retain world series crown

New Zealand capped a sevens double when it retained the IRB women's series crown in the Netherlands at the weekend.

A 29-12 win over Australia in the final ensured the New Zealanders would win a second consecutive title.

It followed the men's effort of sealing the world title last week.

In glorious sunshine in Amsterdam, the transtasman rivals served up another classic final to match the encounters that took place in Dubai, Sao Paulo and Guangzhou.

Australia scored first through Emilee Cherry and still led 5-0 after seven minutes before Shiray Tane, Kayla McAlister and former Otago winger Carla Hohepa pushed New Zealand 17-5 clear at the break.

Hohepa widened the gap soon after resumption before Ellia Green responded for Australia. McAlister's second try near the end sealed the result for New Zealand.

Earlier, New Zealand conceded two early tries in its semifinal against England but hit back through Hohepa (two), Tane and Otago's Kelly Brazier to win 26-10.

''I'm very excited and I'm very proud of the girls,'' New Zealand coach Sean Horan said.

''We have a unique culture and I think we're playing the brand of rugby we want to play. We've learned a lot in this series and we're excited about next season.''

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew was in Amsterdam and said it was significant achievement.

''This series win is the result of very hard work, determination and clear planning over the past year,'' Tew said.

''Last year, they brought home the Sevens World Cup, and now they will return home as back-to-back winners of the world series, which is a remarkable achievement for any team in any sport.

''The women's world sevens circuit has been very competitive, and the fact that the winner was not known until the last game of the last tournament demonstrates how close the competition is internationally.''

Australia had some consolation when Cherry, who led the series in tries (33) and points (195), was named IRB women's sevens player of the year.New Zealand capped a sevens double when it retained the IRB women's series crown in the Netherlands at the weekend.

A 29-12 win over Australia in the final ensured the New Zealanders would win a second consecutive title.

It followed the men's effort of sealing the world title last week.

In glorious sunshine in Amsterdam, the transtasman rivals served up another classic final to match the encounters that took place in Dubai, Sao Paulo and Guangzhou.

Australia scored first through Emilee Cherry and still led 5-0 after seven minutes before Shiray Tane, Kayla McAlister and former Otago winger Carla Hohepa pushed New Zealand 17-5 clear at the break.

Hohepa widened the gap soon after resumption before Ellia Green responded for Australia. McAlister's second try near the end sealed the result for New Zealand.

Earlier, New Zealand conceded two early tries in its semifinal against England but hit back through Hohepa (two), Tane and Otago's Kelly Brazier to win 26-10.

''I'm very excited and I'm very proud of the girls,'' New Zealand coach Sean Horan said.

''We have a unique culture and I think we're playing the brand of rugby we want to play. We've learned a lot in this series and we're excited about next season.''

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew was in Amsterdam and said it was significant achievement.

''This series win is the result of very hard work, determination and clear planning over the past year,'' Tew said.

''Last year, they brought home the Sevens World Cup, and now they will return home as back-to-back winners of the world series, which is a remarkable achievement for any team in any sport.

''The women's world sevens circuit has been very competitive, and the fact that the winner was not known until the last game of the last tournament demonstrates how close the competition is internationally.''

Australia had some consolation when Cherry, who led the series in tries (33) and points (195), was named IRB women's sevens player of the year.

 

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