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Michaela Blyde hat-trick helps New Zealand take top spot on SVNS standings

By Finn Morton
USA (in blue) vs New Zealand (in white) during the Cup Final of HSBC SVNS Women's Series at the Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2024 at Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong, China, on 7 April 2024. Photo by Graham Uden/Clique Visuals

They may have started the early stages of the season uncharacteristically inconsistent but the Black Ferns Sevens’ run of three consecutive Cup final triumphs has seen the Kiwis rise above Australia on the overall SVNS Series standings.


New Zealand only made one of the first three Cup finals of the season and that was a defeat to arch-rivals Australia in Dubai. But the three most recent events have been a different story altogether with the women in black taking control of the Series.

The Black Ferns Sevens snapped their Cup final glory drought with a win over France in the Vancouver decider, and the New Zealanders have matched those heroics at the two most recent legs in Los Angeles and now Hong Kong China.

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Michael Blyde, who brought up her 50th international tournament at the prestigious Hong Kong Sevens, scored a stunning hat-trick as New Zealand ran up a big score over finalists the USA.

20-year-old Jorja Miller opened the scoring, and replacement Mahina Paul also crossed for a double as the Black Ferns Sevens registered a 36-7 win in what very well could be the final SVNS Series women’s final at the iconic venue.

New Zealand are now first, ahead of arch-rivals Australia, on the overall SVNS Standings on for-and-against. The neighbours separated by the Tasman Sea are equal on overall points which sets up a titanic event in Singapore to determine the league winners.

“To come back with back-to-back wins in Hong Kong is really special. We’re really proud of the way we performed today,” Michaela Blyde told RugbyPass and other reporters.


“We’re glad to have finished this Hong Kong Stadium with a win. Hopefully we can bring some more wins next year in the new stadium.

“We obviously weren’t impressed or happy with how we performed at the start of the season. We had a lot of things that we needed to work on,” she added when asked about moving up to first on the SVNS Standings.


“We just need to bring it back to basics. There are a lot of teams that are starting to develop their skillset very quickly so for us we just wanted to stay on top of the game by being the best versions of ourselves, doing the simple things right, width-to-width, good accuracy with our passes and to try and be fitter and faster than most teams.

“As soon as you bring some speed and fitness into the game, you take control of momentum. If we can keep on top of that in our team, we can hopefully continue this constancy moving on into the Olympics.”


Olympic gold medallist Blyde scored all three of her tries down the left edge. The New Zealanders spread the ball wide and the SVNS veteran was good enough to finish each opportunity with both class and precision.

Blyde’s first try required a bit more acrobatics in the corner than the other two, but overall, the two-time World Rugby Player of the Year has been sublime throughout the event and was rightfully rewarded with Player of the Final honours.

“Very happy. It’s not really something that I aim for but the goal for us is to just play our best in the final and then hopefully… by us just doing our best with what we can with our strengths, we can come away with some wins like that,” Blyde explained when asked about the hat-trick.

“If that means me scoring three tries then I’m happy with that. If that means that our middles are doing some good gooies and some steps then I’m happy with that as well.

“Overall I’m just really proud of how our team performed as one.”


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