NZ women claim world sevens series crown
The New Zealand women's seven team have clinched the inaugural IRB Women's World Sevens Series, winning the final tournament in Amsterdam.
Sean Horan's side clinched the series title with their 14-5 quarterfinal victory over Spain, then went on to beat Russia 24-10 in the semifinals and then came from behind twice to beat Canada 33-24 in the decider.
Canada led 14-0 to start, 19-14 at halftime and 24-14 just after the break, but New Zealand scored three straight tries and 19 unanswered points once getting Honey Hireme back from the sin-bin.
Kayla McAlister scored twice in the final, while Kelly Brazier, Portia Woodman and Vaine Greig added the other five-pointers.
New Zealand produced a mistake-riddled first half against Spain. They eventually scored a try through Portia Woodman right on the break to cancel out Spain's earlier try.
But they settled in the second half, striking early with a run away try to Kayla McAlister and clung on for victory.
The women now match the deeds of their illustrious male counterparts who won their 11th world title earlier this month.
Tournament wins in Dubai and China set up the series win that was contested over only four tournaments in this first year.
New Zealand went through pool play unbeaten in the Netherlands, conceding only five points in three matches, in the series finale in Amsterdam. New Zealand defeated Russia 17-5, routed China 24-0 and were too much for hosts the Netherlands 15-0.
NEW ZEALAND RESULTS
Quarterfinal: New Zealand 14 (Portia Woodman, Kayla McAlister tries; Tyla Nathan-Wong 2 con) Spain 5. HT: 7-5
Semifinal: New Zealand 24 (Kelly Brazier, Huriana Manuel, Portia Woodman, Honey Hireme tries; Brazier 2 con) Russia 10 (Baizat Khamidova, Nadezda Yarmotskaya tries). HT: 12-5
Final: New Zealand 33 (Kayla McAlister 2, Kelly Brazier, Portia Woodman, Vaine Greig tries; Brazier 3 con, Tyla Nathan-Wong con) Canada 24 (Bianca Farella 2, Jennifer Kish 2 tries; Mandy Marchak 2 con). HT: 14-19