The Black Ferns Sevens are back on top of the sevens world, claiming their fifth series title in France this morning.
Despite going down 10-26 to USA in the final of the Biarritz Sevens in France, their overall results were more than enough for the Black Ferns Sevens to claim the 2018/2019 overall series crown.
Progressing through pool play undefeated with wins against Scotland, Russia and England, the Black Ferns Sevens set up a quarterfinal against China.
Forced to play with 11 players on day two after Dhys Faleafaga was ruled out with concussion, they produced a clinical 36-0 win to advance.
The quarterfinal victory clinched the series title, ensuring no team could surpass the Black Ferns Sevens' overall points tally regardless of the day's outcome.
The Black Ferns Sevens faced Canada in the semifinals, running away 21-12 victors.
Up against USA in the final, the Black Ferns Sevens were on the back foot almost immediately and trailed 5-12 at the break. Unable to claw back the deficit, USA claimed the Biarritz title with a 26-10 win.
Black Ferns Sevens assistant coach Cory Sweeney said the result was bittersweet.
"We're proud of what we have achieved but disappointed not to finish the way we wanted to.
"It has been a long season and a really pleasing element is the number of players we have developed on the World Series and who have gained finals experience; that will prove to be invaluable going into an Olympic year.
"We came into this season with two big goals: to qualify for the Olympics and win the series so it's great to achieve that."
The day marked a special occasion for captain Sarah Hirini, who led the team for the semifinal against Canada in her 200th Sevens Series match; the first female to reach the milestone.
Hirini received well wishes from across the world in the lead-up to the match and was able to celebrate with her mother, sister and niece who had surprised her by travelling to Biarritz for the tournament.
It caps off a remarkable few weeks for the Manawatu player, after receiving an Order of Merit for services to rugby on the Queen's Birthday Honours list this month.
The Black Ferns Sevens claimed four of six tournament titles during the season: in Glendale, Dubai, Sydney and Langford. Their first placing confirms automatic qualification to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Black Ferns Sevens Biarritz Sevens Results
Won 44-7 v Scotland
Won 31-0 v Russia
Won 27-14 v England
Won 36-0 v China (quarterfinal)
Won 21-12 v Canada (semifinal)
Lost 10-26 v USA (final)