New Zealand’s hot streak continues as they remain top of the women’s series after day one at the Atlanta Sevens.
The Kiwis won all three of their Pool A matches at Kennesaw State University on Saturday, easily beating both South Africa and hosts USA. However, for the second time this season, Russia almost shocked fans by beating the “sistas”, but a last-minute Portia Woodman try clinched the win on Saturday.
Sean Horan’s team are now unbeaten in 27 straight World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series matches.
An overcast start to the day in Atlanta saw Australia ease past Fiji before going on to beat Spain and France in Pool B.
Pool C saw Canada and England make easy work of China and Brazil before meeting in the group decider. After a tense start, England opened up the Canadian defence and tries from Jo Watmore, Danielle Waterman and Alice Richardson secured a 26-10 victory for the English.
The quarter final line up sees New Zealand face Brazil, Canada take on France, Australia play hosts USA and England face a physical battle against Russia. The Bowl semi-finals will be contested between Spain and South Africa, before Fiji take on China.
Speaking after day one in the southern US state, Australian coach Tim Walsh said: “It wasn’t our best day but I’m pleased with three wins. If we are to contest for a title tomorrow we will need to improve our ball possession and eliminate handling errors.
“The USA will be formidable opponents for us. They are demonstrating speed, aggression and passion. If we are to win, we will need to exceed what our opponents bring to the match. We have prepared well and I anticipate the girls will bring what is required.”
Matches will again be streamed live around the world here on worldrugby.org on Sunday with the first of the quarter finals at midday (GMT – 4) from Kennesaw State University. The coverage will be geo-blocked in New Zealand where Sky Sport NZ will broadcast matches, and in the UK and Ireland where Sky Sports UK will show footage from Atlanta. Viewers are advised to check with their local broadcasters for more details.
With qualification for the Olympic Games on offer for the top four teams at the end of the series, competition for places is becoming more intense. This weekend’s tournament in the southern US state will have a major bearing on who will be the first teams to qualify for Rio 2016.
Day two fixtures can be found here.
Tickets for day two of the series in Atlanta are still available can be purchased here.