21 Apr 2019

Black Ferns Sevens rediscover winning ways

5:21 pm on 21 April 2019

The Black Ferns Sevens have gained a measure of revenge over Russia at the women's rugby sevens world series tournament in Japan with a thumping 36-0 win in the semi-finals for fifth place.

Black Fern Sevens captain Sarah Hirini

Black Fern Sevens captain Sarah Hirini Photo: PHOTOSPORT www.photosport.nz

On Saturday, the New Zealanders had struggled to a 17-17 draw with Russia in pool play before they were beaten 29-7 by France in their final pool match.

The Black Ferns Sevens still made the quarter-finals, and delivered an improved performance against the United States, but were beaten 26-19 by a last-minute try.

Against Russia in the fifth-place semi-final, New Zealand opened strongly with tries to Ruby Tui and Tyla Nathan-Wong to lead 10-0 at halftime. They upped the tempo in the second spell, skipper Sarah Hirini scoring a double while Shakira Baker and 18-year-old newcomer Dhys Faleafaga also crossed.

New Zealand will meet Australia, who beat Ireland 22-7, in the play-off for fifth.

Hirini said earlier that the loss to France had been tough.

"It's not like us. We normally pride ourselves on our patience and possession of the ball and we just didn't do that today.

"We won't blame anyone other than our own team performance."