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Watch: Kiwi Tyla King becomes all-time women's SVNS top point-scorer

By Finn Morton
New Zealand's Tyla King controls the ball against Ireland during the HSBC SVNS Vancouver tournament in Vancouver, BC, Canada, on February 24, 2024. (Photo by Don MacKinnon / AFP) (Photo by DON MACKINNON/AFP via Getty Images)

New Zealand’s Tyla King has become the all-time top point-scorer on the women’s SVNS Series with the Black Ferns Sevens playmaker reaching the 1365 marker in Los Angeles.

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King, 29, debuted at senior level for the New Zealand Sevens as a teenager in 2012 and has gone on to enjoy one of the greatest rugby sevens careers in history.

The 2023 World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year is both an Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, and has also helped New Zealand win the Rugby World Cup Sevens twice.

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Tyla King talks to RugbyPass about the new name, NRLW and returning to the Black Ferns | Perth SVNS

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Tyla King talks to RugbyPass about the new name, NRLW and returning to the Black Ferns | Perth SVNS

But King’s latest achievement is all about her. Rugby fans at LA’s Dignity Health Sports Park made sure to show appreciation for King on Saturday after the Kiwi crossed for a historic five-pointer.

Teammate Portia Woodman-Wickliffe was through for a certain score against Brazil after breaking down the left edge, but the winger made sure to find King who was running in support.

With a simple pop-pass, Woodman-Wickliffe set King up under the sticks. Woodman-Wickliffe turned around and embraced King who, in that moment, became the record point scorer in women’s sevens history.

“That’s pretty awesome to hear that, especially when most of those points come from the right boot and not from scoring tries,” King said on the SVNS Series broadcast which can be found on RugbyPass TV.

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“I don’t think I’ve scored that many (tries) in my career.

“I think it’s been awesome programming in the first place by the New Zealand management over the years to be able to keep us girls healthy and out there,” she added when asked about the secret to her longevity.

“Obviously I’ve had my fair few injuries over the years and missed a couple of seasons here or there.

“I think just having that pure love for the game too and wanting to stay competitive with these young ones too.”

 

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After getting their quest for SVNS LAX glory with an emphatic 41-5 win over South Africa on Friday night, the New Zealanders backed that up with another dominant victory.

King scored that try and added four conversions as the Black Ferns Sevens ran away with an utterly relentless 40-nil win over Brazil.

After winning their first Cup final of the season in Vancouver, the women in black are focused on “continuing our flow” in the City of Angels.

“It’s just about staying cool, calm and collected as we’ve been saying these last couple of weeks,” King explained.

“We found our flow, finally, this season in Canada and hope to continue it here in LA.”

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Poorfour 11 hours ago
The AI advantage: How the next two Rugby World Cups will be won

AI models are really just larger and less transparent variants of the statistical models that have been in use since Moneyball was invented. And a big difference between the Icahn centre’s results and AI today is that ChatGPT-like Large Language Models can explain (to some degree) how they reached their conclusions. In terms of what impact they will have, I suspect it will have two primary impacts: 1) It will place a premium on coaching creativity 2) It will lead to more selections that baffle fans and pundits. Analysts will be able to run the models both ways: they will see their own team’s and players’ weaknesses and strengths as well as the opposition’s. So they will have a good idea at what the other team will be targeting and the decisive difference may well be which coaches are smart enough to think of a gameplan that the other side didn’t identify and prepare for. For players, it places a premium on three key things: 1) Having a relatively complete game with no major weaknesses (or the dedication to work on eliminating them) 2) Having the tactical flexibility to play a different game every week 3) Having a point of difference that is so compelling that there isn’t a defence for it. (3) is relatively rare even among pro players. There have been only a handful of players over the years where you knew what they were going to do and the problem was stopping it - Lomu would be the classic example. And even when someone does have that, it’s hard to sustain. Billy Vunipola in his prime was very hard to stop, but fell away quite badly when the toll on his body began to accumulate. So coaches will look for (1) - a lack of exploitable weaknesses - and (2) - the ability to exploit others’ weaknesses - ahead of hoping for (3), at least for the majority of the pack. Which is likely to mean that, as with the original Moneyball, competent, unshowy players who do the stuff that wins matches will win out over outrageous talents who can’t adapt to cover their own weaknesses. Which will leave a lot of people on the sidelines sputtering over the non-inclusion of players whose highlights reels are spectacular, but whose lowlight reels have been uncovered by AI… at least until the point where every fan has access to a sporting analysis AI.

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