It was like a redemption song at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai, as New Zealand Claim Dubai Sevens Women’s Title. It was the perfect revenge for the Sevens Sisters to redeem their Gold Medal loss in Rio. It was also the first win for new head coach Alan Bunting.
Russia, as like last year, brought out their best in Dubai. As did Fijiana, who finished a credible fifth. It was their highest ever finish for the South Seas island girls. In other results; Ireland claimed the Trophy final, while South Africa regained some lost glory
Dubai Sevens Women’s Results
It was a fairytale final some would say, scripted perfectly for the Kiwis. Both sides were playing with new faces but they each put their best players out at the desert city. Kelly Brazier was on fire in the final, to claim the HSBC ‘Player Of The Final Award’.
The Women’s final was played in front of a packed house at The Sevens Stadium. It brought to an end a perfect first round of the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series.
NEW ZEALAND 17 AUSTRALIA 5
The resilient Aussies fought until the end, like a champion side that they are, but it wasn’t their day. Tries came from the speedy Portia Woodman and find of the tournament for the Kiwis; Rebekah Cordero-Tufuga (main picture). It earned them the Dubai title, with their country on top of the standings after round one.
— Dubai Rugby Sevens (@Dubai7s) December 2, 2016
Kiwis reaction to the win
“We’re pretty stoked with that win. It’s been a while since we got a win over Australia and I’m sure they’ll go away and come back a lot stronger as a result of that match” coach Alan Bunting on worldrugby.org
“We always go out to win but we’re still learning a lot. Most importantly the girls went out and played with heart.”
Feisty playmaker Tayla Nathan-Wong added, “Honestly it’s the best feeling. This team is incredible….I’m so of them. I can’t wait for the next round because I’m loving this team”
“It was hard losing to Australia in Rio but full credit to the girls today.”
Dubai Sevens Day Two: The Lowdown
Russia claim the bronze
The Russians always have a good weekend when it comes to Dubai. Is it the heat? Last season they reached the final and this year, they claim the bronze over England.
Two tries from Elena Zdrokova and the other from Alena Mikhaltsova gave the Bears the 19-14 victory. Nadezda Kudinova was at her best all weekend. That makes you wonder, if she was in Dublin for the Olympics qualifier, would it have seen Russia attending the Olympics?
The English reached the semis after their last-grasped win over Fijiana 19-17. The Fijians were leading 17-5 at one stage, but the resilient English roses never gave in. it may have taken all they had, as Abbie Brown and her girls were spent by the end of the 3rd/4th final.
Fijiana Best Ever Series Finish
With all the limelight on be their world renown brothers, the Island girls created their own history. They not only had their families backing them, but the whole nation and they didn’t hold anything back on Day Two, winning 17-14 over Canada.
It’s the love of the game that drives this girls; inspite of all the odds against them. The world has heard the realities faced by their brothers wait until you hear the girls stories. They fight tradition, a male culture at home, which is the norm in Fijian societies. Fighting all that, Fijiana have achieved their goals.
They were unlucky against the English but came from behind to beat the Canadians. The 17-14 victory has earned them their highest finish, and they will build on this for the season.
Women Put on Great Display in Dubai
Your women's Dream Team for the #Dubai7s!
Who would you have chosen? pic.twitter.com/fbwjHzOk3v
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) December 2, 2016
In other results:
France place seventh in Dubai
France defeated South Africa to claim seventh spot. France showed their class, while the South Africans returned from the disappointment of missing the Olympic Games. They will be out to reclaim their core status in the series next season.
Ireland Takes first Trophy Final
The Lucy Mulhall led side defeated the ever improving Spanish 14-12, to win the Trophy Final–the Trophy Final replacing the Bowl in Dubai. The Irish have learned a lot and continue to grow as a team. The United States finished 11th after humbling Brazil 26-17 in a tight close match.
Women now plan for Sydney Sevens
The goal now for each women’s team, is to go away and enjoy the holidays. Rest the sore bodies and then begin training again. Ready themselves for Round Two on February 3rd-4th, 2017.
New Zealand will go in confident, as the Aussie team will be out to win on home soil. England will want to perform, as will the Canadians, French, Russians and Irish. Spain and Fiji will be there, as will Team USA.
Follow All the results and updates from the Dubai Sevens here on LWOR with Scott Hornell and Jovilisi Waqa
“Main photo credit”