New Zealand sevens captain Sarah Goss left full of energy after world series win
After the New Zealand women's sevens team reclaimed their World Rugby Sevens series crown, Sarah Goss could not help the urge to go for an early morning run.
The team's regular skipper was at home watching the final round of the series due to her Black Ferns World Cup commitments.
But such was her excitement, she was out pounding the pavements before the sun had even risen on Monday morning.
New Zealand's most experienced women's sevens player (30 tournaments) said it was a strange experience sitting as spectator.
"It has been pretty weird. You get a little bit jealous watching them playing. But I am really excited," she said.
"I celebrated by going for a run. I got a bit motivated by it. I was like 5.30am and I took my dog for a run."
It was a fitting way for the 24-year-old from Manawatu to reveal in the team's return to the top of the women's sevens totem pole with her tireless efforts on the field over the past couple of years setting the tone for the young squad.
New Zealand was missing five players, including Goss and try-scoring star Portia Woodman, for the final two tournaments of the year due to the impending World Cup.
It their place a number of young players stood up in a show of the country's depth.
New Zealand only needed to finish seventh in Clermont, but they went on to win the tournament, their fifth of six this year.
"Winning against Australia and not letting them win a tournament was pretty special as well," she said.
Last season Australia not only took the sevens world series, but won gold at the Rio Olympics.
New Zealand was not willing to settle for second best again.
"We were pretty disappointed with how last season went and then losing to them in Rio, it was pretty heartbreaking," Goss said. "We knew that we needed to put our stamp back on sevens, we needed to win tournaments and we needed to be dominant again. The management staff helped us do that and they have allowed to play pretty free-flowing rugby and it has been good for the girls."
Now the spotlight in women's rugby turns to the 15s World Cup in Ireland in August.
Goss, who made her Black Ferns debut last year, believed the team was on track to continue New Zealand Rugby's dominance on the women's stage.
"The June test series went pretty well so it is just about training now and putting in the effort for the next month or so before we go away," she said.
They won two matches in the series, but fell to England in their final match which ended a winning streak which dated back to the disappointing 2014 World Cup when the Black Ferns were upset in pool play by Ireland and left to battle for fifth.
Goss said it was a timely reminder of the work they still need to do.
"It was tough. Losing in the black jersey is not nice and not easy to take. But it has motivated me to work harder and be a lot better come the World Cup."
New Zealand is in a pool with Canada, Wales and Hong Kong at the World Cup and need to finish top or the best runner up out of the three pools to qualify for the semifinals.