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Watch: SVNS great Portia Woodman-Wickliffe makes more rugby history

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

New Zealand rugby legend Portia Woodman-Wickliffe has broken yet another record with the Black Ferns Sevens veteran scoring her 250th HSBC SVNS try with an effort against Ireland on Friday.

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Woodman-Wickliffe, who is already the most prolific try scorer in the history of 15s Rugby World Cups, received the ball on the left edge in the sixth minute and immediately pinned the ears back.

Fellow Olympic gold medallist Shiray Kaka did an impressive job of creating space out wide by drawing in two Irish defenders before sending Woodman-Wickliffe on a history-making run.

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Ireland’s Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe attempted to chase down the New Zealander but Woodman-Wickliffe had too much space and pace in the end to run about 60 metres to the house untouched.

On a humid Friday in Singapore, everyone seemed to forget about the heat for a second – including New Zealand teammate Michaela Blyde – as they cheered frantically from the sidelines and stands.

“Woodman-Wickliffe, is this number 250? I think it is! Portia Woodman-Wickliffe, the greatest try scorer we’ve ever seen in HSBC women’s sevens,” it was said on commentary.

“The 2-5-0 for Portia Woodman-Wickliffe. What a player! “

Jorja Miller scored the only other try for New Zealand in the first half, but the Black Ferns Sevens took things to an all-new level after the break with their big name players getting on the board.

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Winger Stacey Waaka was next to cross for a five-pointer immediately after the break, and Michaela Blyde and Shiray Kaka adding another try each as the women in black registered a 31-12 win.

But there was no doubt that Portia Woodman-Wickliffe was the story of the night.

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After doing an interview on the broadcast, and signing numerous autographs, the Black Ferns Sevens great disappeared from public view as she walked down the tunnel with the match ball.

“It’s a result of what the team do,” Woodman-Wickliffe said on the broadcast.

“With the likes of Stacey (Waaka), Risi (Pouri-Lane), Theresa (Stefano), Jaz (Felix-Hotham), with all those girls doing the work in the middle, it allows me to do my job which is to finish it off.

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“If I’m lucky enough to cross the line then it’s a beautiful thing.”

The Black Ferns Sevens will be quite happy with how day one went, with the New Zealanders also notching up a massive 38-7 win over Spain earlier in the morning. They’ll play Canada on Saturday.

New Zealand won Cup finals in Vancouver, Los Angeles and Hong Kong China, and can wrap up the regular season title on the SVNS Series with another win late on Sunday in Singapore.

Arch-rivals Australia are also vying for the inaugural regular season title with the two teams currently equal on 106 points. Whoever places higher in Singapore will collect that piece of silverware.

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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