Black Ferns Sevens unbeaten in Kitakyushu

Getty Images     21 Apr 2018     Getty Images

One of the big questions on day one was how the Black Ferns Sevens would shape up from a quick Commonwealth Games turnaround against three well-rested pool opponents.


Portia Woodman answered that question emphatically against hosts Japan with two tries in the opening two minutes of the match. From there it was all New Zealand as Michaela Blyde added a double along with tries to Sarah Goss and Stacey Waaka to storm to a 38-5 win.

The second pool match was a slightly trickier assignment against USA and there was to be no repeat of the flying start against Japan.

It was USA who started the stronger by taking advantage of a New Zealand error close to the line to open the scoring through Jordan Grey.

The Allan Bunting-coached side then did what they did so well at the Commonwealth Games by starving their opponent of possession to take a 21-7 lead into the break.

USA struck back early in the second half through a stunning try to speedster Naya Tapper, but that was as close as they got as New Zealand closed out the game with tries to Gayle Broughton and Shakira Baker to take the 31-12 win.

The final match of the day was against the unbeaten French to see who would top Pool B.

The Black Ferns Sevens laid on a sublime first half to storm to a 24-0 lead with Portia Woodman crossing for a hat-trick inside just six minutes.

France had their moments in the second half and crossed for a well-deserved try but it wasn’t enough as New Zealand took out Pool B with a 38-7 win.

Elsewhere on day one, China stunned Ireland 24-12 in Pool A to sneak into the quarterfinals. Interestingly, that wasn’t to be the biggest upset in Pool A as Spain stunned Australia 17-14 to top the pool. 

Fiji topped a hotly contested Pool C with wins over England and Russia.

The Black Ferns Sevens will face China at 1.30pm Sunday NZT. Tune into Sky Sport to watch the action live.