NZ Women's Sevens school Ireland in Dubai

The New Zealand women's sevens team has made it three-from-three on the opening day at the Dubai Sevens, with convincing wins over Ireland, Fiji and France.

After earlier wins over Ireland and Fiji, the Kiwis put in their most dominant performance of pool play, with a 31-0 rout of France to set up a quarterfinal match against South Africa at 6pm NZ Time.

Twenty-year-old Michaela Blyde scored a hat-trick, while Katarina Whata and Rebekah Cordero-Tufuga added the other tries in the win over France that sent New Zealand to the top of Pool B.

Blyde scored in the first and seventh minutes to put New Zealand ahead 12-0, before Whata scored her second try of the day deep into first-half stoppage time for a 19-point lead. Blyde scored her third for the match and fifth for the day in the ninth minute before Cordero-Tufuga went over for her second try of the day.

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After a convincing 27-5 win over Ireland in their opening pool match, New Zealand built a 19-point halftime lead against Fiji thanks to two tries from Ruby Tui before holding on 19-10.

Whata scored the first try in the opening minute before Tui added five-pointers in the fourth and seventh minutes, with Tyla Nathan-Wong converting two of the three scores.

Fiji got on the board in the 13th minute through Asena Yalewalili and then added another after the siren to Rusila Nagasau.

Earlier against Ireland, Blyde kick-started the Kiwi offensive, scoring in the second minute. NZ missed the conversion, but Blyde quickly scored another try, converted successfully by Nathan-Wong.

As the Kiwis continued to steamroll the Irish opposition, Cordero-Tufuga was the next to increase the Kiwis' lead with a try to lead 17-0 at halftime.

Shakira Baker was the first to score in the second half, with a try before Ireland finally got themselves on the board. Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe dotted down to save the Irish from utter annihilation.

Sarah Goss capped the match for NZ, with another try, finishing the match with dominating 27-5 victory.


New Zealand 27 (Michael Blyde 2, Rebekah Cordero-Tufuga, Shakira Baker, Sarah Goss tries; Tyla Nathan-Wong con) Ireland 5 (Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe try). HT: 17-0

New Zealand 19 (Ruby Tui 2 Katarina Whata tries; Nathan-Wong 2 con) Fiji 10 (Asena Yalewalili, Rusila Nagasau tries). HT: 19-0

New Zealand 31 (Blyde 3, Whata, Cordero-Tufuga tries; Nathan-Wong 2 con, Whata con) France 0. HT: 19-0

 - Stuff