SAN FRANCISCO: New Zealand retained their women’s World Cup Sevens crown here Saturday, beating France 29-0 in the final to claim the title for a second time.
Michaela Blyde was the star for the Black Ferns with a brilliant hat-trick as the New Zealanders outclassed the French at AT&T Park.
Blyde’s treble took her tally to the tournament to nine tries for the weekend, crowning a superb tournament for the 22-year-old.
France, who had earlier stunned Olympic champions Australia to reach the final for the first time, were never in contention.
New Zealand dominated the first half and took the lead when Blyde crossed in the corner for an unconverted score to make it 5-0.
France tackled ferociously in an attempt to pin the New Zealand women back in their own half but soon found themselves another try down when captain Sarah Goss broke clear and swept forward in an attack capped by Portia Woodman’s try in the corner.
Tyla Nathan-Wong then extended New Zealand’s lead after sniping up the blind side from a ruck to catch the French defence napping for the simplest of scores to make it 15-0 at the break.
The second half followed a similar pattern, with France tackling bravely but unable to win any sustained possession against the skillful New Zealand women.
Eventually New Zealand’s patient passing game yielded a second try for Blyde, who scampered in for a converted to make it 22-0.
Blyde then completed her hat-trick on the stroke of full-time as the French defence was split open to seal an emphatic New Zealand win. —AFP