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'The benchmark': What makes the Black Ferns 7s 'brilliant'

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

The Black Ferns Sevens extended their lead at the top of the World Series standings with an incredible triumph at the Sydney Sevens last weekend.


New Zealand put more daylight between themselves and second-placed Australia, who “choked” in the quarterfinals against eventual runners-up France.

The Trans-Tasman rivals have made Cup Finals a habit over the last few years, and appeared to be heading towards another blockbuster at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.

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Both teams eased through pool play – as expected – and were labelled as the favourite favourites for their sudden death clashes.

But home crowd favourites Australia lost in a thriller.

It was the upset of the tournament; and may go down in history as the most stunning result from this year’s World Series campaign.

Australia lost by five to Les Bleus, while New Zealand were dominant in their second clash against Japan on Day Two.


The Black Ferns scored 109 points across their three knockout matches, but impressively, they didn’t concede a single point in return.

To say they were dominant is an understatement.

Following their epic run at the Sydney Sevens, Stan Sport commentator Andrew Swain while New Zealand are now the World Series “benchmark” compared to a “disappointing” Australian side.

“The Aussies had a pretty ordinary tournament to be fair, they really choked I’ve got to say over the course of the three days,” Swain told SENZ The Run Home.


“But the Black Ferns were brilliant.

“It’s the new generation of women coming through isn’t it, the Jorja Miller’s of the world that really stood out over the last fortnight and to get (three) gold medals on the trot (is impressive).

“The Aussie women not really picking up too many competition points over the last two weeks and really disappointing (showed) they’ve really got the jump on the Aussies now I think, the Black Ferns, and (are) bringing through the new generation of women as well.”

Teenager Jorja Miller stole the show in New Zealand’s 35-nil win over France, as she was crowned the Player of the Final.

The 18-year-old has only played 24 matches in the coveted black jersey, but has already become a key part of the team – and is certainly a superstar is the making.

As Swain discussed, that’s what makes the women in black so good: they’re “able to reinvent the wheel.”

“They’re just somehow able to reinvent the wheel and excel at the highest level constantly, and we over this side of the ditch, we actually look at them in awe because they’re brilliant,” he added.

“We love our Aussie Women’s Sevens team as well and they’ve got some great new talent coming through, but the Black Ferns are really the benchmark at the moment.”

The Black Ferns Sevens will take the field in early March as the World Series heads to Vancouver.

New Zealand will be eager to win their fourth women’s Cup Final in as many events, which would see them extend their 12-point lead on the World Series by even more.

As for the men, they’ll look to defend their Sydney Sevens crown in Los Angeles on February 25-26.


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