Black Ferns Sevens dominate France for World Cup win

Arnold Nichols
July 25, 2018

England Sevens beat Samoa 19-15 in their opening game of the World Cup Sevens in San Francisco and will now play hosts US in the Championship quarter-final on Sunday (00:38 BST).

Eight top seeds were assured of places in the last 16 of the competition due to their placing in the World Rugby Sevens Series, with the remaining teams forced to play a qualifier to progress.

France next play New Zealand, who opened their campaign with an easy 29-5 victory against Russian Federation.

Michaela Blyde was the star for the Black Ferns with a brilliant hat-trick as the New Zealanders outclassed the French at AT&T Park.

Blyde's treble took her tally to the tournament to nine tries, crowning a superb weekend for the 22-year-old, the reigning women's world sevens player of the year.

Black Ferns back Tyla Nathan-Wong says also at play was the tens of thousand of screaming American fans.

"Everyone's real. We genuinely love each other, we genuinely are family".

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But, more significantly, Goss, Woodman and Brazier, along with Stacey Waaka and Theresa Fitzpatrick, were crowned world champions in the 15-a-side game with the Black Ferns less than 12 months ago. In fact, the United States led 14-12 at the half but New Zealand came back and played their own game in the second half to win, 26-21. They will meet the US in their semi-final on Sunday morning.

Attention on Sunday will turn to the men's competition, where New Zealand will also be bidding to retain their title.

Fiji are into the semi-finals without so much as raising a sweat after dispatching Japan 35-10 and then dismissing the Argentines 43-7, but they will need all the support they can get when they take on New Zealand on Monday morning (Hong Kong time).

"It's going to be extremely tough with the knock-out format and the quality of teams".

"We achieved what we set out to achieve today".

Samoa cut the deficit to just two points at the start of the second half, but England held on, with a pass from Ollie Lindsay-Hague helping Richard de Carpentier score their third try of the match.

South Africa added further scores from Justin Geduld (2), Siviwe Soyizwapi and Ruhan Nel to seal an emphatic win.

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