The whole world is used to seeing the New Zealand male All-Blacks team perform their Haka routine before matches as they seek to intimidate the opposition. But The Black Ferns female national New Zealand team have shown that they can be just a scary when they perform their version of the Haka too. It may well have helped them to become the first team ever to retain the women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens title.
To celebrate their 29-0 victory over France in the final, held in San Francisco, The Black Ferns treated the spectators to another rendition of their war dance.
The Black Ferns were dominant throughout the competition. They comprehensively beat Mexico 57-0 and handed out another sound thrashing to the Irish team, beating them 45-0. These wins took them through to the semi-final where they faced the host USA women’s team.
The USA Eagles gave them their toughest games of the championship. They were the first team in the competition to score a point against the Black Ferns and at the halfway stage they were beating the New Zealanders 14-12. But the Kiwis dug in and in a rousing second half emerged victorious with a final score of 26-21.
But probably the biggest surprise of the women’s tournament was France beating the World Series champions, Australia. But for France, that was to be their highlight. They found The Black Ferns too tough a nut to crack, and the New Zealanders made it all look too easy as they notched up a total of 29 points, conceding nothing.
The captain of the Black Ferns paid tribute to the French saying that they were an excellent team and said how proud she was of her team managing to keep a clean scoresheet
For the New Zealand women’s team, their star player in the final was without a doubt Michaela Blyde. She got herself a hat-trick taking her competition total to nine tries in all. The other Kiwi ladies who got their names on the score-sheet were Tyler Nathan-Wong and Portia Woodman.
The Black Ferns’ success meant that they were able to keep the title they won at the last World Series that was held in Moscow back in 2013. The first ever Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens took place in 2009 in Dubai and was won by the Australians.
This year’s tournament was the first time that the women’s World Cup was to consist solely of Knockout matches. In all, 16 teams took part playing a total of 32 games.
But it wasn’t just the New Zealand ladies who excelled. The All-Blacks sevens team also took the crown in the men’s tournament when they beat England 33-12 in the final, also held at the AT&T Park in San Francisco.
We wonder what the odds would be for both the men’s and women’s national teams to not only win their respective competition, but to retain their crowns from the previous tournaments too; especially as the men were seeded third at the outset of the series behind first and second seeds Fiji and South Africa.
The next Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2022, will take place in Hong Kong. Would anyone care to place a bet on the Kiwis men’s and women’s teams winning for a third time?