Text, Picture and Video: World Rugby
The All Blacks Sevens extended their record as the most successful team on home soil in the history of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series with a 27-5 defeat of France in the HSBC New Zealand Sevens Cup final.
The title was New Zealand's 10th on home soil but the first in Hamilton, having won their last title in Wellington in 2016. It was also their 60th title in series history and the second of season after victory in Cape Town last month.
France, playing in their first-ever Cup final in New Zealand, were on the back foot early on after Tavite Veredamu was sin-binned for not being back 10 metres, All Blacks Sevens co-captain Scott Curry powering through two defenders seconds later to open the scoring.
Veredamu quickly atoned for his indiscretion, scooping up a pass almost rolled around the ground by Remi Siega with one hand to cut the deficit to two points after the conversion drifted left.
France were dealt two blows when Jonathan Laugel was sin-binned for a neck roll and New Zealand made their man advantage count, Regan Ware just keeping his foot in touch as he grounded the ball behind him for a 12-5 lead at half-time.
Ware added a second before Curry scored twice to seal victory and extend the All Blacks Sevens' advantage at the top of the standings from nothing to 15 points over South Africa, who could only finish 10th in Hamilton, and France on 48 points with England fourth on 39.
Women's | Black Ferns Sevens create history in Hamilton
The Black Ferns Sevens continued their perfect record against Canada in Cup finals on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series to become the inaugural champions in Hamilton.
This was the seventh meeting of the sides in a title decider and just like the previous six it was the Black Ferns Sevens celebrating, more so this time after the 24-7 victory saw them crowned HSBC New Zealand Sevens champions to become the third team to win a title on home soil.
It is a third Cup title in a row after their success in Dubai and Cape Town last month and extended their winning run to 13 matches against Canada, whose only win against the Black Ferns Sevens came in Sao Paulo back in February 2016.
Canada had opened the scoring at FMG Stadium through Brittany Benn in the fifth minute despite the high tackle of Ruby Tui, which saw the World Rugby Women's Sevens Player of the Year sent to the sin-bin for two minutes.
New Zealand held firm in her absence and then with the clock deep into the red at the end of the first half they made the breakthrough, Stacey Fluhler being stopped short before Michaela Blyde went over from closer range than many of her tries this weekend.
Fluhler won the restart and the ball was quickly worked along the line to Blyde, who stepped her way through the Canadian defence for her eighth of the tournament. Niall Williams' try with little more than two minutes to play pushed the Black Ferns Sevens out to 19-7 and all but secured the title.
However, there was still time for HSBC Player of the Final Fluhler to turn another restart take into New Zealand's fourth try of the title decider and see her become the first player to score 10 tries in a series tournament since her fellow Black Ferns Sevens star Portia Woodman in Glendale in October 2018.