Michaela Blyde is all class

We already knew she was talented, Blyde was named World Women's Sevens Player of the Year in 2017, but she showed exactly why at the weekend. She is living proof that big things come in small packages as she made bone-crunching tackles to put her side on the front foot.

Not only strong, Blyde has speed by the bucketload. At the end of day one Bay of Plenty had to beat Manawatu to make it through to the Cup playoffs and she put the team on her back as she twice left defenders in the dust to break on the outside and score, giving her side a vital win. While Bay of Plenty eventually lost their quarter-final against Counties Manukau, Blyde got them off to a terrific start with two tries, one after a huge hit on Portia Woodman.

No time to relax in sevens
Fourteen minutes is not a long time and throughout the weekend it was clear that, in a game of sevens, you have to be switched on from start to finish. The Bay of Plenty women started slowly against Wellington in their first pool game and were made to pay, going down 15-12.
The same thing happened to the Bay of Plenty men in their Cup quarter-final. They let Taranaki get out to an early lead and, although they finished strongly, they simply ran out of time and were knocked out of contention.


Losing the national tournament to Tauranga is a shame for Rotorua
The National Sevens is a great weekend and, while the stadium was not overflowing with supporters, there is a contingent of Rotorua locals who have supported the tournament passionately for the last four years.
The event moves to Tauranga, starting from December this year, which is a sad loss for Rotorua. Organisers have not ruled out a return to Rotorua International Stadium in the future so, in the meantime, let's get out there and show how well we can support local events.

New Zealand is blessed with rugby talent
New Zealand is the number one rugby nation in the world for a reason and there is no better example than our national sevens tournament.
Some of the play during the weekend was absolutely electric, I don't know how our national selectors do it with so much talent to choose from.
The tournament was sprinkled with household names such as Woodman and Zac Guildford, but there was an abundance of relatively unknown and up-and-coming talent on display as well.

Women's rugby has a bright future
I lost count of the number of spectators I heard throughout the weekend saying they were enjoying the women's tournament more than the men's.
The women's game in New Zealand, and throughout the world, deserves to be fully professional - the rugby they produce is as entertaining, if not more entertaining, than the men's.