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'The beauty of sevens': NZ star reacts to Australia's shock elimination

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The Black Ferns Sevens have booked their place in the Sydney Sevens semi-finals after beating Japan for the second time in one day.

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New Zealand had scored 77 points and only conceded 12 across their first two pools games, before playing Japan in the final round-robin match on Saturday morning.

After beating Japan 27-12, the Black Ferns secured their place in the knockout rounds where they’d face… Japan, again.

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But this time they were even more dominant, as they recorded an emphatic 33-nil victory at Allianz Stadium.

Sevens veteran Michaela Blyde set the tone from the opening minute with a try, and the women in black added another seven points to their lead shortly after.

Along with Blyde, four players crossed the try-line in the quarterfinal including Jorja Miller, Stacey Flihler and Portia Woodman-Wickliffe.

It’s an interesting curveball in the race for this seasons World Series crown, with Australia having been knocked out by France two games earlier.

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New Zealand were already four points ahead of their fierce rivals on the World Series standings, but can separate themselves from the pack even more with a win in Sydney.

Sevens star Blyde said that while the Australians would be disappointed to lose at home, the Black Ferns need to make the most of this “opportunity.”

“Obviously it’s gutting for them being at home, but that’s the beauty of sevens,” Blyde told RugbyPass.

“You’ve just got no idea who’s gonna turn up on the day and you have to turn up, no matter if it’s your home, quarters, first pool game.

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“Obviously it’s an opportunity for us to get some good points ahead of them.”

Blyde walked off the field with an icepack – insisting it was only for recovery – and appeared firmly focused on the job that awaits her team on Day Three.

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While Australia’s elimination is shocking, and could potentially bode well for New Zealand’s pursuit of a World Series title, Blyde insisted that her side won’t “get too far ahead of ourselves.”

“We’ve got to focus on our semi-final first,” she added.

“We’ve got a big game against Ireland, they’re looking extremely fit, they love to move the ball around.

“We’re not going to get complacent we’re not going to get too far ahead of ourselves; what’s most important is our semi-final tomorrow.”

The Black Ferns Sevens will play Ireland in the Cup semi-finals on Sunday afternoon, with the match set to kick off around 3.44pm (AEDT).

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Shaylen 8 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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