No Sarah Hirini, no problem for Black Ferns Sevens in Hong Kong


Stacey Waaka goes over for a try in the Black Ferns Sevens’ big win over Great Britain.

Jayne Russell/Photosport

Stacey Waaka goes over for a try in the Black Ferns Sevens’ big win over Great Britain.

The Black Ferns Sevens have stormed through pool play in Hong Kong not only unbeaten, but without even conceding a point.

At the same time, the World Series ladder leaders ran in a whopping 23 tries, notching 139 points, in their three games, barely raising a sweat in sealing top spot in Pool A on Saturday (NZ time), despite having captain Sarah Hirini sidelined.

Chasing their fifth consecutive tournament title, following their triumphs in Cape Town, Hamilton, Sydney and Vancouver, New Zealand made a rampaging start on Friday night (NZT) in a 50-0 drubbing of hosts Hong Kong.

That was soured somewhat by Hirini being cited for a collision and being handed a three-match suspension, though.

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However, the captain was barely missed as the Kiwis followed up with a 43-0 hammering of Great Britain, then began day two by thrashing Canada 46-0.

Having struggled past the Canadians 10-5 in their last meeting, in the quarterfinals in Vancouver last month, it was all one-way traffic this time out, after Shiray Kaka opened the scoring one minute in off a Canada mistake.

Jorja Miller went close but soon later put away Michaela Blyde in the left corner, then Kelly Brazier finished in the opposite corner, while Kaka had her double after the halftime siren thanks to some awesome dancing feet.


NZ Rugby expects a large growth in playing numbers in the women’s game but those already at the top believe it can reach even taller heights.

Up 22-0 at the break, there was no let-up in the second stanza, with Porta Woodman-Wickliffe showing all her quality down the right side, bagging tries either side of Alena Saili and Stacey Waaka also dotting down.

Ironically, the Black Ferns Sevens will face Canada again in the quarterfinals (Sunday 2.03am NZT), after Tyla Nathan-Wong’s missed conversion at the end ensured Canada scraped in ahead of Japan as the second-best third-placed team.

The other last-eight matchups will see Australia face Ireland, France take on Great Britain, and Fiji square off with the United States.

Meanwhile, the All Blacks Sevens have also made a good start to the men’s competition in Hong Kong, going two from two in pool play.

After starting with a 29-5 win over Kenya on Friday night (NZT), the series-leading Kiwis started day two with a 12-7 victory over South Africa.

Thanks to a great back-flick offload from Ngarohi McGarvey-Black, Leroy Carter opened the scoring with a long-range effort, before the Blitzboks hit back through Mfundo Ndhlovu to make it level at the interval.

But thanks to some slick ball movement to the left side of the park, Cody Vai’s 10th minute try proved decisive, with New Zealand going on to close out the contest.

The All Blacks Sevens’ final pool game is against Ireland at 8.49pm (NZT), with the quarterfinals taking place on Sunday afternoon (NZT).