New Zealand Womens Sevens are World Champions

AFP / Getty Images     01 Jul 2013     AFP / Getty Images

The victory was achieved in challenging conditions. Heavy rain poured throughout the later stages of finals day in the Russian capital, turning the giant Luzhniki Stadium into a quagmire.

On a day when the All Blacks Sevens were also crowned World Champions, the New Zealand team added to their inaugural Women’s Sevens World Series title with a consistently convincing performance across pool and finals play.

“I put it down to heart,” said captain Huriana Manuel. “It was all about the sisters and we have something amazing happening here. We just play for each other and that’s what we did out there.

“We expected a hard game and we just put our heart on the line.”

Honey Hireme turned in another standout performance with her bullocking runs, scoring the team’s third try.

“Every try we get is just part of the team. Canada gave it 100 per cent every time they come up against us and we give them full credit for that.”

New Zealand were easily the form team of the tournament, conceding only one try in pool play on Saturday and just five during the finals.

On the way to the final, the team defeated England in the quarter-final 24-7 and eased past the USA 19-10.

“Amazing, I can’t explain it, a year ago I never thought I would be here,” said Portia Woodman.

The former Mystics netballer was the top try scorer of the tournament, dotting down 12 times, including twice in the final. Devastating on attack with a mesmerising side step that bewildered all opponents.

“That’s my job, the forwards get the ball and my job is to finish it. It probably comes from netball as well, and it’s nice when it comes off well. I have been watching Kelly Brazier, we just watch and learn from her.”

New Zealand 29 (Woodman (2), Brazier, McAlister, Hireme tries; Brazier, Nathan-Wong cons)
Canada 12 (Dubissette-Borrite, Landry tries; Steacy cons)