2018 HSBC Langford Sevens: Black Ferns 7s 'annihilate' Australia in Cup Final
New Zealand gold medallists celebrate after the HSBC Canada Women's Rugby Sevens in Langford, British Columbia on May 13, 2018. (Photo by Don MacKinnon / AFP) (Photo credit should read DON MACKINNON/AFP/Getty Images)

The Black Ferns 7s have annihilated Australia 46-0 in the Cup final, on their way to retaining the 2018 HSBC Langford Sevens title. It was the Aussies worst ever defeat in the Women’s Sevens Series, and demonstrated the superiority that the New Zealand team hold.

It was the Kiwis third Gold Medal win, after claiming the Commonwealth Games and Kitakyushu 7s titles recently. However, the Aussies still leads the overall series.

New Australia head coach John Manenti will be scratching his head, looking for answers. It is only his second tourney in-charge, which will give him a leeway but the group will want to return to the winners circle.

The United States side continues to find their strength, along with France. Meanwhile Spain fell ‘back to reality’ with Ireland, Fijiana and England all having mixed results. But it is the hosts, who finished in fifth place, that will feel the most disappointment.

2018 HSBC Langford Sevens: The Lowdown

New Zealand scored eight unanswered tries, to humiliate the Aussies 46-0. Two tries each to Kelly Brazier, Niall Williams and ‘Player of the Final’ Portia Woodman. Captain courageous Sarah Goss grabbed the other, along with returnee Ruby Tui picking up a try as well, in this record haul.

It was a one-sided affair that the young Aussie side will learn from. With injury problems to their senior stars like Sharni Williams, Elia Green and Alicia Quirk, the youngsters have really stood up.

Sarah Goss spoke to worldrugby.org“Really proud of the girls, we put in a lot of effort. We’ve obviously been on the road for a long time so really stoked with the result and happy to be heading back for some recovery. Extremely proud, credit to Australia as they are an amazing team.

“We love playing them and it just shows how amazing women’s rugby is at the moment.”

Other results from Langford 7s

The United States defeated the ever-improving French side, 21-5 to claim the bronze medal. Canada, with a Bianca Farella hat-trick, was too strong for the Irish 29-12, to finish with a little bit of joy in fifth place.

Not where the hosts had wanted to finish, but much better than the disastrous result from Kitakyushu.

Fijiana continue to improve even though they finished eighth after losing to England 29-24. Missing the services of stalwarts Lavenia Tinai and Rusila Nagasau through injury, did not deter the Fijiana girls from reaching their second consecutive top eight appearance.

Japan win big at HSBC Langford Sevens

Like the Russians, the Spanish failed to build from their Japanese tournament outing. Meeting Japan for the Challenge Trophy, two late tries from Chiharu Nakamura and Tomomi Kozasa gave the Japan the victory over Spain, 26-21.

The Challenge Trophy victory was a welcoming boost to the Asian side, heading to the Rugby World Cup Sevens in July.

Meanwhile Brazil had a dramatic comeback from 19-0 down against Russia, to finish 11th. The Russians – who have benefited from major investment and good recent results – failed to ‘show up’ in Canada. Sadly for their high hopes, they finished at the bottom of the competition; their worst result this season.

2018 HSBC Langford Sevens: the Accolades

DHL Impact Player of the Final

As stated, Portia Woodman took out this award, as she carried on her great form. Beside her team mate Michaela Blyde, they both scored seven tries on the fast, artificial turf.

DHL Performance Tracker

2018 HSBC Langford Sevens ‘Dream Team’

This group includes some of the regular performers, plus Montserrat Amedee and Luisa Basei Tisolo. They are joined by home town favourite, Charity Williams.

Last Word on Rugby – The final verdict

With the Series finale in France coming up in the second week of June, either the Kiwis or Aussies can still claim the HSBC Sevens Series title.

Both sets of coaches will be ensuring that their squads are fully prepared. New Zealand do not need another poor result like in Dubai, but each side knows that any of six other sides they might face in the quarter-finals, could end their season.

The challenge is on, but as noted previously, Japan looks set to drop out as a core side. They have given plenty, but have too often been far down in the standings. It would take a miracle for them to add enough points to force Brazil aside.

Matches are getting tougher and it will only get tougher, as the teams prepare for Paris and ultimately, the RWC7s in San Francisco.

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