Netball convert Kayla McAlister's 11 tries for the New Zealand sevens at Sao Paulo in Brazil were the highlight for her team as they finished the tournament in third place.

New Zealand moved to equal second place in the women's series with Canada after beating the USA 28-0 in the playoff for third.

Series leaders Australia won the tournament when beating the Canadians 29-0 in the final.

"Eleven tries in effectively four games is an amazing result," coach Sean Horan said of McAlister's haul. "She was injured in semi-final against Canada in first minute then came back on and scored an amazing try. She's pretty phenomenal."


Horan's team put in an improved showing on their fifth placed finish in Dubai, their opening tournament of the season.

"There was some good stuff here but we need to match it when those physical teams come up against us, like Canada and Russia," Horan said. "We've been found wanting in the last two tournaments when it comes to the physical side of teams running at us.

So the key for us is to get better at go-forward, tackle and dominating that contact area.

"We probably had more confidence than in Dubai in the way we wanted to attack and play the game. We were a little bit fitter and we also had a couple of changes to the squad which sharpened up the way we wanted to play the game. That showed through in the results.

"When you play five decent games out of six and you come up third it's hard to swallow. But also it's a good learning. If you fall short on one game, you won't win it.

So that's key for us. We have to be prepared, because everyone brings their A game against us. Canada taught us a bit of a lesson."

The team spent a week at a training facility in Florida before travelling to Sao Paulo. This will be the team's base before travelling to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero. Horan said preparations for the Olympics remained well on track.

"We went to Florida and Rio on way through. It was a key to get an understanding of what it will look like later this year. We had a goal for 2015/16 and that was to be in top three seeding wise. The focus this year is the Olympics. We've won three World Series and the World Cup in last four years. So we know what it takes to win. But we want to focus on the big picture and that's the beginning of August. That's what we are tracking for and we are looking good. We're confident in what we're doing and where we're heading."

The Women's Series now moves to Atlanta, USA (April 8-9), then Langford, Canada, a week later.

Sao Paul Sevens
Quarter-final: New Zealand 41 (McAlister 2, Tui 2, Brazier, Manuel, Williams tries, Nathan-Wong 3 con) Brazil 0
Semi-final: New Zealand 10 (McAlister 2) Canada 19
Third place playoff: New Zealand 28 (Woodman, Williams, Brazier, Goss tries, Nathan-Wong 4 con) USA 0
HSBC Women's Sevens World Series table: 1. Australia (40 points), 2. New Zealand (28), 3. Canada (28), 4. France (26), 5. England (24), 6. Russia (22), 7. Fiji (18), 8. USA (16).