Rugby: Black Ferns Sevens blitz Australia to win Las Vegas title

By Campbell Burnes

Ruby Tui was named MVP in the final. Photo / Getty
Ruby Tui was named MVP in the final. Photo / Getty

Last season, Australia had the Black Ferns Sevens' number.

This season the boot is very much on the other foot, and that was emphatically demonstrated as New Zealand crushed the Olympic gold medallists 28-5 in this afternoon's Las Vegas Cup final. It was a remarkable display of patient, accurate sevens punctuated by devastating individual counter-punches, and gives them four straight wins over their arch-rivals.

After some early nip and tuck and close marking from Australia, New Zealand broke the shackles via the unlikely shape of Ruby Tui, whose weaving solo try saw her dummy, stop, shimmy and sprint to bamboozle the defence. Tyla Nathan-Wong then shot through a gap at high speed to give New Zealand a 14-0 halftime lead.

Woodman was put away by a sweet cutout pass by Sarah Goss. Woodman stepped, blew past two defenders and sprinted in for her 135th series try. They were not finished there, either, with teenager Alena Saili bursting down the left flank to complete their scoring.

Mahalia Murphy's solo try for Australia was pure consolation.

Tui won the MVP for the final, and said that motivation is never hard when they face the girls in yellow.

"This is for the team," she said of her spoils, before adding: "You say Australia and we all get up."

Captain Goss, again an inspirational presence, paid tribute to her side's defence, allowing Australia just one late try.

"It feels so amazing the way we played in that final, and against Australia."

Michaela Blyde, despite heavy strapping on her right leg, scored seven tries to lead all New Zealand scorers, but Woodman, who plays prop in the scrums, still crossed for six.

The upshot is that New Zealand extend their lead at the top of the World Series standings, their 56 points heading Australia on 50. Next month's tournament in Japan is the fourth of five in the series. New Zealand have now defeated Australia four times in succession in 2016-17.

The All Blacks Sevens, meanwhile, face England at 6.22pm (NZT) in the men's Cup quarter-final. They will need to lift considerably after dropping their last pool match to Argentina.

New Zealand 28 (Ruby Tui, Tyla Nathan-Wong, Portia Woodman, Alena Saili tries; Nathan-Wong 4 con) Australia 5 (Mahalia Murphy try) HT: 14-0

- NZ Herald

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