New Zealand win Atlanta 7s to lead World Series
February 18, 2014, 15:36:00

New Zealand win Atlanta 7s to lead World Series Album

Sarah Goss named player of the tournament

New Zealand have won round two of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series after thumping Canada 36 – 0 in the Final of the Atlanta Sevens today, and they now lead the Series by two points.

Coach Sean Horan’s Women’s Sevens team tops the leader board on 38 points, with Dubai winners Australia second on 36 points, and Canada’s powerful performance in the neighbour’s backyard sees them well placed with 32 points and third overall.

After beating the Netherlands 21-0, Ireland 36-7 and England 14-5 in yesterday’s pool play, the New Zealanders went into Finals day with a relentless attitude which Horan applauded.

New Zealand kept Canada scoreless in the Final.

“Great day at the office,” Horan said after the emphatic Final win over Canada.  The Canadians had earned their spot in the Final after taking out Dubai tournament winners Australia 17 - 7 in their semifinal.

Sean Horan said he was extremely proud of the players and the way they had gone about their work, including preparation.

“It was a performance that we’ll remember for a long, long time.

“They trust our systems and understand that day two is the most important day.  You still have to be able to get your processes right on day one, but I think mentally they really stepped up, their preparation before the games before the finals, looking after their bodies, doing the little things and the real important things."

Hear more post match comments from Coach Sean Horan here.

Tries to Selica Winiata and Kayla McAlister gave the New Zealand women a 10 - 0 opening half lead in the Final.

New Zealand cut loose in the closing half, adding a further 26 points in their most impressive burst in Atlanta, with Winiata, Michaela Blyde, Gayle Broughton and Portia Woodman scoring.

Their performance was capped off with Sarah Goss being named the Atlanta 7s player of the tournament.

Taranaki teeange debutants Blyde and Broughton looked comfortable playing on the international stage, something Horan puts down to the successful systems such as the Go4Gold talent identification program.

“It probably gives us a bit of a slap on the back that the programme has worked.”

Debutant Gayle Broughton talks here about her first IRB tournament.

The Sevens ‘Sisters’ opened the second day with a 42 – 0 quarterfinal win against Japan before beating Russia 24 – 7 in the second semifinal.

In their quarterfinal playoff, Woodman scored the first two tries; with McAlister adding another while Tyla Nathan-Wong was flawless with her conversions to make it 21-0 in the opening stanza.  The second half was more of the same with Goss, Nathan-Wong and Broughton adding their names to the scoresheet to make it 42-0 final score.

In the semifinal New Zealand encountered a Russian team clearly on the rise, but a double to McAlister and a try to Carla Hohepa gave them a 17 - 0 halftime lead.

Russian Nadezda Kudinova opened the second half scoring, and even a yellow card to Baizet Khamidova didn’t stop the Russian efforts, with Broughton adding New Zealand’s only points in the second half with a try in the eighth minute for a 24-7 final score.

In other results the Netherlands won the Bowl over China (33-0), the US won the Plate over Spain (22-0), while Australia defeated Russia (22-12) in the third place playoff.

The third leg of the series is in Sao Paulo, Brazil, kicks off on 21 February at the Arena Barueri.

Atlanta 7s match schedule - 15 & 16 February (16 & 17 February NZT)
Fifth-Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University

15 February

21-0 V Netherlands (HT 7-0)
36-7 V Ireland (HT 19-0)
14-5 V England (HT 7-0)

16 February

42-0 V Japan (HT 21-0)
24-7 V Russia (HT 17-0)
36-0 V Canada (HT 10-0)

Atlanta player of the tournament: Sarah Goss

The team for Atlanta and Sao Paulo tournaments:

Linda Itunu (Auckland)
Carla Hohepa (Auckland)
Hazel Tubic (Counties Manukau)
Jordan Webber (Waikato)
Sarah Goss (Manawatu)
Gayle Broughton (Taranaki)
Tyla Nathan Wong (Auckland)
Micheala Blyde (Taranaki)
Huriana Manuel (Auckland)
Selica Winiata (Manawatu)
Portia Woodman (Auckland)
Kayla McAlister (Auckland)

Unavailable for selection to due to injury/illness are:

Ruby Tui (knee)
Kelly Brazier (hip)
Vaine Grieg (knee)
Honey Hireme (illness)
Alexis Tapsell (concussion)

IRB Women’s Sevens World Series

2013/2014 standings: Australia (20), New Zealand (18), Russia (16), Canada (14), England (12), Spain (10)

Dubai, UAE: 28, 29 November 2013 (Won by Australia)
Atlanta, USA: 15, 16 February 2014 (won by New Zealand)
Sao Paulo, Brazil: 21, 22 February 2014
Guangzhou, China: 5, 6 April 2014
Amsterdam, Netherlands: 16, 17 May 2014


Snapshot – New Zealand Women’s Sevens

• June 2013 – crowned World Champions of Sevens at Moscow World Cup, defeating Canada 29-12 in final

• May 2013 – winner of inaugural IRB Women’s Sevens World Series

• New Zealand players awarded women’s sevens top honours:

o Kayla McAlister – IRB Player of the Year 2013

o Portia Woodman – IRB Player of the 2013 World Cup

• Around 1000 women from many different sports trialled for the New Zealand Women’s Seven’s Olympic campaign in 2012

• Women’s sevens is a fast growing sport in New Zealand – 10 teams competed in the recent National Sevens tournament

Information on the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series can be found at

Information on the New Zealand Women’s Sevens team can be found at

last updated: February 19, 2014, 21:26:38

website design by teapot media solutions