Black Ferns carry on wins in Sydney

Shakira Baker and Sarah Hirini, of New Zealand, celebrate a try in their pool match against...
Shakira Baker and Sarah Hirini, of New Zealand, celebrate a try in their pool match against England during the 2019 Sydney HSBC Sevens at Spotless Stadium in Sydney yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
The Black Ferns have begun their sevens season the same way they finished their last — with more wins.

The World Cup and Commonwealth Games winners have not lost a game since falling to Australia in the final of the Sydney Sevens last year.

And after cruising to the Fast Four title in Hamilton on Sunday, the Black Ferns continued their hot form on their return to Sydney.

First, they took care of business in their tournament opener against Papua New Guinea in a 38-5 victory, overcoming a rocky start.

There was perhaps a touch of rustiness from the Kiwi side as PNG veteran Fatima Rama scored the first try of the match, a stunning 75m effort that she topped off with a front-flip celebration.

But New Zealand was quick to overturn the early scare through tries from Sarah Hirini and Nathan-Wong to take a 12-5 advantage into the break. It was plain sailing from then on as the Black Ferns piled on four more tries as PNG tired.

It was a similar story in their second game, as they  took a 31-7 win over France, who they also beat 31-0 in Sunday’s Fast Four final.

France were able to keep it close early after Chloe Pelle’s score cancelled out Michaela Blyde’s opening try for the Ferns.

But again, the Black Ferns pulled away in the latter periods as Stacey Waaka, Gayle Broughton and Tyla Nathan-Wong crossed to put them well in front.

As the final hooter sounded, Blyde turned up again on the left wing, as she did all of last year, to score the final try of the game and put an exclamation mark on the win.

The Black Ferns ended a successful day by thrashing England 29-0 in their third game. They will play their quarterfinal match-up today, with the semfinals and final concluding tomorrow.

 

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