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‘Hard to watch’: Black Ferns Sevens coach provides update on injured duo

By Finn Morton
Shiray Kaka of New Zealand runs with the ball during the 2023 Sydney Sevens match between New Zealand and Japan at Allianz Stadium on January 28, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Black Ferns Sevens coach Cory Sweeney has provided an update on injured duo Tyla King and Shiray Kaka, with the pair watching on from the stands on day three at SVNS Singapore.

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New Zealand’s clinical 24-5 win over Great Britain in Saturday’s quarter-final at the National Stadium came at a significant cost with the two Olympic gold medallists leaving the field during the second half.

Dual international Tyla King, who is the reigning World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year, was the first to make way after leaving the field on a medical cart. Unfortunately, Kaka appeared to suffer a more significant injury shortly after.

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Kaka, who received an individual trophy at last month’s Hong Kong Sevens after being recognised as the best and fairest, had to be carried off the field at the Singaporean venue with what looked like a knee injury.

Following New Zealand’s 33-22 win over Fiji in the semi-finals, coach Cory Sweeney opened up about the injuries with the team still waiting “for some scans” as they assess the damage to Kaka’s knee.

“So Tyla has got a rolled ankle with a bit of swelling overnight. She’s obviously not playing today but we will find out exactly how severe that is over the coming days,” Sweeney told RugbyPass on Sunday afternoon.

“Shiray has done her knee so we’re just waiting for some scans to come back on that and see how severe that is as well.”

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The Black Ferns Sevens’ ranks are deployed with coach Sweeney only having 11 players to choose from in their semi-final and the Cup decider against Australia.

Captain Risi Pouri-Lane told this website on day two that the absence of King and Kakak definitely presented a “hole” in the talented New Zealand team, but the skipper remained confident in the squad’s ability to step up.

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Playing against the Fijians, that’s exactly what the Kiwi women did. Stacey Waaka, Jorja Miller and Michaela Blyde (double) all got on the scoresheet along with Pouri-Lane who also took over starting goal-kicking duties from King.

“We’ve got two special people that our ladies witnessed go down yesterday and that’s always hard to watch. There’s always an emotional connection to that straightaway,” Sweeney reflected.

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“The girls, they showed up today and showed up for those two that got injured and took their opportunity as well.

“That’s what we really ask of this team and they did a good job.”

Catch up on all the latest SVNS Series action from the 2023/24 season on RugbyPass TV. SVNS Singapore is live and free to watch, all you need to do is sign up HERE.

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