Believe it or not, the Black Ferns Sevens still have things to work on.

That was the message from strike player Michaela Blyde after she ran in four first-half tries in a 40-7 demolition of England in Hamilton on Saturday.

In the first half, the hosts put on about as perfect a half of sevens as you'll see, with Blyde the benefactor of some solid work up the middle.

"I have that number next to my name but it's all for the team," Blyde said. "I can't score those tries without the incredible efforts of what the girls do on the field on the insides to create the space for me to just run over the white line."


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It was a statement win for the side, after England took them to extra time in their knockout clash in Cape Town during the most recent stop of this year's series. But despite being 33-0 ahead at the break, Blyde said the second half wasn't about trying new things.

"Definitely tidying up our kick-off receipts to make sure we caught the ball on the full and making sure our defence was on point as well because every now and then we can get caught out with high tackles, so believe it or not there are still things we talk about that we need to improve on."

The win over England saw the side take a step forward after beating a competitive Chinese outfit by the same scoreline in a scratchier performance. With two wins from as many games, the Black Ferns Sevens all but punched their ticket to Sunday's semifinal in the first official women's World Series stop in New Zealand.

Premium gold

With the women's tournament running alongside the men's over a two-day window, both competitions will skip quarter-finals. In the women's tournament, the top team from each of the three pools moves through to the semifinals, along with the best second-placed team.

With one more pool game on Sunday morning against Fiji, Black Ferns Sevens captain Sarah Hirini said the message from the coaches was simple after Saturday's performances.

"Our bar is set a lot higher now," Hirini said. "Tomorrow it has to keep rising if we want to win the tournament. We put that expectation on ourselves; we don't want to drop from here, we want to show our fans how good we are and the only way is up from here."

The match against Fiji on Sunday morning will be an interesting contest, after the Fijian side was upset by China in their second game of the tournament.

Fiji will be fighting for their spot in the semifinals as, although they could still finish second in the pool with a loss, their points differential is far worse than the other second placed teams at the end of Saturday's play.


"It's going to be a lot tougher," Hirini said of the game against Fiji. "It's pretty much like we've got a quarter-final against them."