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New Zealand and Australia record big quarter-final wins at SVNS Vancouver

By Finn Morton
New Zealand are through to the SVNS Vancouver semi-finals. Picture: World Rugby.

New Zealand and Australia have both taken another step towards a potential Trans-Tasman final at SVNS Vancouver after winning their respective quarter-finals by commanding margins.


The Black Ferns Sevens flew threw pool play with near-perfect wins over Brazil, South Africa and Ireland before stepping up once again in a 36-nil demolition of Spain on Saturday evening.

Olympic gold medallist Shiray Kaka scored a decisive double while Michaela Blyde, Mahina Paul, Jorja Miller and Jazmin Felix-Hotham also helped the Kiwis complete the big win.

This is New Zealand’s first appearance in a SVNS semi-final after the defending series champions failed to get the better of arch-rivals Australia in the Perth quarters last month.

“It is good to be back in the semis. The girls are going really well,” coach Cory Sweeney told RugbyPass. “Good flow and combinations, all the work that’s been going on the last probably six months is starting to pay off.

“We’ve just got to have a big one tomorrow against Canada which is going to be a special moment.

“Our ladies have experienced a couple of losses over the last three tournaments and that hurts and they’ve had moments where they get comments at home,” he added.


“This is a real opportunity for them to prove to themselves and reignite that inner-belief.

“We’re not focused on other teams, we’re focused on ourselves and we’ll do everything that we can to make sure that we do our best.”

But the New Zealanders will need to overcome the colossal task of overcoming hometown favourites Canada in what promises to be a massive semi-final on Sunday.

Canada, who defeated North American neighbours the United States 12-10 in a thrilling quarter-final, had a full stadium cheering them on as they booked their spot in the next stage.

Tries to Florence Symonds and Krissy Scurfield had thousands of supporters on their feet at BC Place Stadium. But the atmosphere, as Sweeney explained, wasn’t as supportive as theirs.


“It was a complete contrast to when we were playing, wasn’t it? Was dead silent. But yeah, what a cool moment for them,” Sweeney said.

“I know what happens when you’re at home, it’s a cool tournament to be at home. You’ve got your family, your friends and there’s pressure that goes with that so we’ll be certainly applying as much as we can tomorrow morning and hope for the best.”

Speedster Maddison Levi and Kaitlin Shave led the way for Australia as they booked their ticket to the semi-finals in the fourth and final quarter-final on Saturday night.


Levi opened the scoring in the third minute, and a double from Shave put the Aussies in a strong position heading into the business end of this clash between two traditional sevens rivals.

Faith Nathan and Tia Hinds also added to the score, and while the Fijians fought back with tries in the 13th and 15th minutes, the result was never really in doubt as they won 35-19.

“I love it here. This is one of my favourite tournaments, I played here last year,” Australia’s Madison Ashby said on RugbyPass TV’s broadcast.

“The field, the atmosphere, it’s just unbelievable.

“Our coach has been drilling into our heads discipline – discipline with our ball placement, passing, just doing the basics right because that’s what’s going to win us games.

“Everyone knows their role and if that spreads throughout the team, I’m pretty sure we’ll come away with the win tomorrow.”

New Zealand will play hosts Canada in the first semi-final at about midday (local time) on Sunday before Australia faces SVNS Cape Town runners-up France in the other semi.


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Poorfour 10 hours ago
The AI advantage: How the next two Rugby World Cups will be won

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