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Black Ferns Sevens crush USA in the final to claim gold while All Blacks fall short

By Ben Smith
(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

The Black Ferns Sevens have claimed gold at the World Series Sevens in Hamilton after crushing the USA in dominate fashion by 33-7 while the All Blacks Sevens went down to Argentina in dramatic fashion.

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The women got out to a fast start when prolific try scorer Michaele Blyde scored a minute into proceedings, the first of what would be a hat-trick performance from the Kiwi flyer.

After a quick turnover, the Ferns went out wide before switch play from Tyla Nathan-Wong on the left edge saw Blyde explode through multiple defenders to score.

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Jazmin Felix-Hotham was next to get in on the action to extend the Black Ferns lead out to 14-0 in the third minute.

When Blyde had her second try early in the second half, New Zealand were in cruise control at 21-0 and firmly in front as the USA struggled to get any momentum.

They hit back with a nice piece of play for Cheta Emba to opening the scoring for the Americans, but when Blyde had her third of the final it was all but over at 28-7.

The player-of-the-match escaped a review for a high tackle before going on to score her third.

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USA couldn’t secure the kick-off allowing the Black Ferns to snatch one more late, with World Cup-winning Black Ferns Sarah Hirini and Portia Woodman-Wickliffe combining to put the exclamation mark on an emphatic win.

In the men’s final, the All Blacks Sevens took on Argentina after smashing France 38-0 in the semi-final.

Argentina were fast out of the gate, putting together some fantastic play before a high tackle defending the try line from Joe Webber copped a yellow card less than two minutes into the game.

Despite being down a man, New Zealand scored the first try when a long-range break sparked by early substitute Roderick Solo found Akuila Rokolisoa.

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Rokolisoa held off the last defender with a big fend to open the scoring in the corner to the delight of FMG Stadium.

Solo was the star again right on half-time taking a one-on-one opportunity down a tight rope sideline to give New Zealand a 12-0 lead at half-time on the last play of the first half.

A knock-on by Webber in front of the sticks gave Argentina the chance to hit back early in the second and they obliged when Santiago Alvarez crashed over.

Errors from New Zealand on attack gave Argentina more possession and a penalty gave them a line-out deep in New Zealand’s half.

After some building play, a deadly step inside from Marcos Moneta took back the lead with just two minutes to go.

The conversion gave Argentina a 14-12 lead but New Zealand had one minute to make something happen with their last possession.

Frantic play aided by two penalties kept play going, New Zealand opting for a scrum from 40 minutes out with the clock in the red.

The All Blacks Sevens went left to Solo who streaked down the sideline before a grubber kick inside which was dived on in the in-goal by Brady Rush, but the TMO ruled the ball was knocked-on.

Argentina took gold in the men’s with a 14-12 win.

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