The Black Ferns Sevens aren't strangers to winning events on the Sevens World Series, but this weekend's victory was sweeter than the rest.

The Kiwis took out the gold medal in Hamilton at the weekend, fighting off a strong Canadian outfit 24-7 in the final.

Premium gold

It was an historic moment for the New Zealand women's team to run out onto the turf at Waikato Stadium as it was the first time the country had hosted an official stop on the World Series.

Last year the women's played in a four-team exhibition tournament which gave them and the fans a taste of what could be, but playing in a fully-fledged World Series stop was another experience entirely.


Black Ferns Sevens star Ruby Tui said for the players, having the chance to be a part of such a big moment in the sport's history was something that wasn't taken for granted.

"I'd say it means the world to me, but it means more than that," Tui said.

"This is the first time ever that the women are completely parallel with the men in New Zealand. That's amazing and I can't mentally move past that; I'm trying to live in this moment."

New Zealand's Gayle Broughton duing the final against Canada. Photosport
New Zealand's Gayle Broughton duing the final against Canada. Photosport

Tui was a force in the middle for the side in the final, putting hard shots on anyone who decided running at her was a good idea. However, her effort and determination earned her a trip to the sinbin in the first half when she made contact with an opponent's head as the Canadian was in the process of scoring.

It was the opening try of the game, but was cancelled out in the final play of the first half when Michaela Blyde scored under the sticks.

Blyde added another soon after halftime, before Niall Williams and Stacey Fluhler scored late to blow out the scoreline.

"We had a couple of unforced errors early on and let Canada back in the game — so we were on the back foot and having to defend for a lot of the first half," said Kelly Brazier.

"But we're a team who knows when we get our hands on the ball we can score points and it was a matter of time before we could do that. I don't know whether it was mental toughness or heart, but the girls stuck in there and obviously pulled away at the end."


The Black Ferns Sevens were impressive for the majority of the tournament, bar a few shaky starts, cruising through their opening pool games on Saturday against England and China by a combined margin of 80-14. They opened their account today with a good win over a formidable Fijian outfit, before toppling France in their semifinal.

With the event win, the side extended their lead at the top of the leaderboard through the halfway point of the World Series, with three gold medals from four events this year.

The return of the speeding striking power of Blyde and the reliable work rate of captain Sarah Hirini had a noticeable impact for the hosts. The pair missed the events in Dubai and Cape Town due to injury but made the most of every opportunity in their return to the black jersey, with Blyde scoring nine tries through the five games. Not to be outdone, Fluhler looked dangerous every time she got her hands on the ball and bagged nine tries of her own.