Text, Picture and Video: World Rugby
New Zealand retained their grip on the HSBC Canada Women's Sevens title – their third in a row at Westhills Stadium – after a hard-fought 21-17 victory over Australia in the Cup final on Sunday.
The victory meant the Black Ferns Sevens had two reasons to celebrate on the day as by reaching the Cup semi-finals they had confirmed their place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games via a top four finish in the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series 2019, their 17-7 victory over Spain giving them an unassailable lead over fifth-placed France in the standings with only one round remaining.
New Zealand now lead the standings with 92 points after their fourth title in five rounds, followed by USA (80), Canada (78) and Australia (74) with France now 14 points adrift of a coveted top four spot.
USA WIN BRONZE
The Women's Sevens Eagles bounced back from a third Cup semi-final loss of the season to New Zealand by beating France 26-5 to win the bronze medal for the second year running in Langford. The first half of the bronze final was played almost entirely in France's 22 with USA only able to make the breakthrough as half-time approached with co-captain Lauren Doyle's leg drive taking her close enough to dive over. Kris Thomas added a second before half-time with Kristi Kirshe and Kayla Canett putting the result beyond doubt before a late consolation try for Séraphine Okemba.
CANADA FINISH FIFTH
Hosts Canada finished off on a winning note after first-half tries from Bianca Farella (2), Julia Greenshields and Williams set them on their way to a 31-7 victory over England in the fifth place play-off. Patricia García had earlier given Spain the perfect start in the seventh place play-off with a second-minute try but it was Russia who battled back to win 24-7 after tries from Daria Shestakova, Mikhaltsova, Zdrokova and Daria Noritsina.
FIJI WIN CHALLENGE TROPHY
Fiji came out on a top in an end-to-end tussle with China to not only win the Challenge Trophy for the third series event in a row but also increase their advantage over their opponents to four points in the battle to avoid relegation. A Raijieli Davuea double had given Fiji a 19-7 lead before China fought back to tie the scores, but Vasiti Solikoviti ensured a 26-19 win for her side with a late try. Ireland finished 11th after captain Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe scored a hat-trick in their 43-5 win over invitational team Brazil.
The HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series 2019 now moves onto Biarritz, France, for the final round on 15-16 June.