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Man-of-the-match at the last World Cup final, and turning 37 next month, the legendary No 8 still has the hunger for one last dance in France

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'No excuses': What the Black Ferns 7s need to do better

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

After winning the Hamilton Sevens in front of their home fans last weekend, the Black Ferns Sevens travelled across the ditch for another chance at glory.


But it wouldn’t come easy.

Winning has become a habit for the Black Ferns Sevens; they expect excellence and success every time they take the field, and this mindset has served them well for quite some time.

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New Zealand are more than deserving of the champion moniker, but would have to overcome the might of the world’s best teams in Sydney to retain that status.

The world’s best Sevens players took the field at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium this weekend, including a star-studded Australian side – who have a habit of challenging New Zealand for Cup glory.

But New Zealand came to play. The women in black dominated all three of their opponents in pool play, as they finished with a +78 points differential.

Then, in a series of sudden death clashes, the Black Ferns Sevens didn’t concede a single point en route to a Sydney Sevens title.


Sevens veteran Portia Woodman-Wickliffe had won her second Cup final in as many weeks, and she couldn’t have been happier.


After receiving her medal – another one to add to her decorated list of achievements – the New Zealand Rugby legend was running around barefoot taking photos with fans in Sydney.

Woodman-Wickliffe was clearly thrilled with what the team had achieved, but still wanted the Black Ferns Sevens to improve ahead of the next World Series leg in Vancouver.


“I think just being able to switch on right from the first whistle,” Woodman-Wickliffe told RugbyPass.

“A lot has to do with the back-to-back tournaments. I think the last time the girls have done that was probably back in 2019, 2020.

“It’s been a while since we’ve had back-to-backs, but still no excuses. Once you cross that white line, it should be game time.

“I think it starts back home on the training pitch, but you can’t really fault that final there, it was pretty cool.”

The HSNC World Rugby Sevens Series is back at the end of next month, as the Sevens world turns its attention to an event in Los Angeles.

But the women’s teams are set to return the following weekend in Vancouver on March 3-5.


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