Double delight for New Zealand at Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens

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  • New Zealand claim double gold in front of sell-out crowd at epic Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens
  • New Zealand beat USA 36-7 in women’s final to go top of HSBC SVNS standings on points difference from Australia who settle for bronze in Hong Kong
  • All Blacks Sevens overcome France 10-7 in men’s final, while Ireland claim bronze to close gap on leaders Argentina
  • Seven men’s and women’s teams have guaranteed their places at the eight team HSBC SVNS 2024 Grand Final in Madrid
  • HSBC SVNS action continues with the final regular season round in Singapore on 3-5 May where the SVNS League Winners will be crowned, tickets available at svns.com

It was double victory for New Zealand as the curtain came down on a sensational Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens played out in front of a 40,000 strong sell-out crowd with a vibrant atmosphere to match the thrilling action on the pitch over three days at Hong Kong Stadium.

New Zealand beat USA 36-7 in the women’s final to claim their third consecutive HSBC SVNS gold taking them above Australia to the top of the standings with one regular season event remaining in Singapore.

Meanwhile the All Blacks Sevens won a tense men’s final 10-7 against France to defend their Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens title, win their first SVNS title of the season, and complete a tournament double.

Michaela Blyde scored a hat-trick as the Black Ferns Sevens proved too strong for a USA side making their first women’s final appearance of the season following an impressive 19-5 victory over France in the semi-final.

New Zealand hattrick hero Blyde who was playing her fiftieth SVNS tournament said: “To come back with back-to-back wins in Hong Kong is really special. We’re really proud of the way we performed today.

“We obviously weren’t impressed or happy with how we performed at the start of the season. We had a lot of things that we needed to work on.

“We just need to bring it back to basics. There are a lot of teams that are starting to develop their skillset very quickly so for us we just wanted to stay on top of the game by being the best versions of ourselves, doing the simple things right, width-to-width, good accuracy with our passes and to try and be fitter and faster than most teams.

“As soon as you bring some speed and fitness into the game, you take control of momentum. If we can keep on top of that in our team, we can hopefully continue this constancy moving on into the Olympics.”

Australia had earlier lost to their trans-Tasman rivals 28-14 in the last four, but pulled off a thrilling 24-21 comeback win over France to take bronze. They now sit equal with New Zealand in the series standings on 106 points, but drop to second on points difference.

READ FULL WOMEN’S REPORT >>

The first half of the men’s final ended 0-0, but a try from veteran Scott Curry broke the deadlock, a second from Cody Vai after a French mistake securing the gold medal for New Zealand despite a late French consolation. The silver medal is France’s third podium finish in a row as the team continues to show great promise ahead of the Olympic Games Paris 2024, which kick off in just 120 days time.

New Zealand try scorer Cody Vai said: “I think it’s a bit more special than winning last year. Some of the boys in this team right now have never won a Hong Kong. To win it with them is a better feeling because they’ve been in the team for a while and this was one of their goals and I’m happy to achieve it with them. It’s all in the team. They’re making it easier for me. They do their job, I do my job and its teamwork.”

“It means a lot to us. Hong Kong is one of the ones that we want to turn around and (we’ll) probably go up from there until the Olympics. This is not it. This is part of the journey and the end journey is obviously the Olympics.”

In the bronze final, a first-half brace from Hugo Lennox secured the bronze medal for Ireland as they beat Australia by 14-5 to keep up the pressure on HSBC SVNS leaders Argentina going into the final round in Singapore.

READ FULL MEN’S REPORT >>

Elsewhere in the women’s competition Great Britain beat Brazil 14-5 to cement eighth spot in the series standings and their hopes of making the Grand Final in Brazil, while Japan beat Ireland 12-5 with a late score for a season-best finish of seventh.

Credit: HSBC Rugby

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