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Black Ferns Ma Undefeated in Oceania Triumph

Sun, 26/06/2022, 10:55 am
Oceania Rugby
by Oceania Rugby
Black Ferns Ma win 2022 Oceania Rugby Super Sevens (Credit: Richard Spranger)
Black Ferns Ma win 2022 Oceania Rugby Super Sevens (Credit: Richard Spranger)

The Black Ferns Ma won the women’s Oceania Super Sevens on the final day of the competition at Navigation Homes Stadium in Pukekohe.

After winning five from five, the Black Ferns Ma needed at least a draw against Australian Selection 7s to claim the Oceania title. Stacey Fluhler got them off to the perfect start two minutes in before Sharni Williams immediately responded, but that would be the last time Australia scored, as the Ma scored 19 unanswered points to win the match 26-5.

Two-time Women’s Sevens Player of the Year, Michaela Blyde scored six tries for the Black Ferns Ma to lead the tournament in tries and points (32) alongside teammate Risi Pouri-Lane who converted 11 tries. Australia’s Tia Hinds finished third in scoring with 19 points, converting seven of her team’s 19 tries.

The Aussies finished with four wins, losing to the Ma on Day 2 by five points after snatching a two-point win against the Fijiana 7s the day before. Down by five, Williams crossed in the 13th minute to draw scores level, before 17-year-old Jesse Southwell added the extra two for the victory.

Fiji had to wait until the final match of the tournament to secure their only victory. The 2021 Olympic bronze medallists narrowly lost their first five matches, with three by less than seven.

Entering the last match having only scored 10 tries, Fijiana crossed the line four times against the Black Ferns Pango, with a double to Ana Roqica. The victory secured third place for Fiji, edging the Pango on points difference.

The Black Ferns Pango finished the tournament with a single five-point win against the Fijiana on Day 2 and recorded four losses by less than two converted tries.

Olympic gold medallist Ruby Tui led the Pango with three tries, alongside Mahina Paul, with Olympian Tenika Willison adding 13 points.

The Oceania Super Sevens saw numerous uncapped players compete in their first international tournament in hopes of being selected for next month’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

“It’s always an amazing time coming out and playing against our sisters from over the sea,” said Black Ferns Pango captain Terina Te Tamaki. “Big shout out to our girls. We had five girls who have never played international rugby and it was amazing to see them do their thing this weekend.”

Black Ferns Ma captain Sarah Hirini added, “Having two teams playing against the other two best teams in the world has been amazing and I know the girls would have been really stoked getting a lot of game time.”

New Zealand kick off their Commonwealth Games title defence on July 29, alongside Australia and Fiji.

2022 Oceania Rugby Super Sevens Results:

Day 1

Australia 21 def. Black Ferns Pango 12

Black Ferns Ma 26 def. Fiji 12

Black Ferns Ma 28 def. Black Ferns Pango 14

Australia 19 def. Fiji 17

Day 2

Black Ferns Pango 19 def. Fiji 14

Black Ferns Ma 17 def. Australia 12

Australia 29 def. Black Ferns Pango 5

Black Ferns Ma 14 def. Fiji 7

Day 3

Black Ferns Ma 24 def. Black Ferns Pango 10

Australia 31 def. Fiji 14

Fiji 20 def. Black Ferns Pango 10

Black Ferns Ma 26 def. Australia 5