New Zealand Women lose Brazil Sevens Final; NZ still top of World Series
February 24, 2014, 15:18:49

New Zealand Women lose Brazil Sevens Final; NZ still top of World Series Album

 Australia’s strong attacking game proved too much for New Zealand in the Final of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in Sao Paulo, Brazil today.

The loss means New Zealand now shares the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series with Australia on 56 points each, with Canada (48), Russia (40) and England (34) behind the leaders.

New Zealand never quite recovered after Australia struck twice in the first half with tries to Charlotte Caslick and Emma Tonegato.  New Zealand went to the break behind 12 – 0 after spending much of the half in their own territory.

The half-time chat from Coach Sean Horan seemed to have had some affect as the New Zealanders found better space but it wasn’t long before Australia’s persistent contest at the breakdown saw them steal crucial ball off the deck, putting Emilee Cherry into space to score under the posts, stretching their lead to 17 – 0. 

Known for their composure under pressure, the New Zealanders regrouped and put themselves back into the game with Taranaki’s 17-year-old Gayle Broughton cutting through defence for New Zealand’s first points.

Woodman, who had been starved of quality ball and space for most of the game, finally found a gap and with her trademark sidestep and fend, she dotted down under the posts to keep them in the running with 17 – 12 on the board.

But Australia’s attacking game again proved the difference, as they capitalised on New Zealand being penalised at the breakdown, putting Charlotte Caslick under the posts to secure the gold and greens win 24 – 12 on the final whistle.

Earlier in the day, New Zealand won their quarterfinal match 35 – 7 against the Netherlands, and they had to come from a 7 – 12 half time deficit to beat 21 – 17 Canada in their tight semifinal battle.

In their quarterfinal action, Kayla McAlister and Carla Hohepa both scored in the first half to lead the Netherlands 14 – 0  Their only reply was a sole try to Nicole Kwee, as Gayle Broughton, Tyla Nathan-Wong and Michaela Blyde all pitched in for the closing 35 – 7 tally.

Against Canada, Nathan-Wong scored first for New Zealand, but then back-to-back tries to Karen Paquin and Kayla Moleschi made it 12 - 7 at halftime to the North Americans.

In the second another try to Paquin had the Canadians excited, before tries to Broughton and Goss sealed the match 21-17.

The fourth tournament of World Series is in Guangzhou, China on 5 & 6 April.

Sao Paulo match schedule – 21 & 22 February (22 & 23 February NZT)
Venue: Arena Barueri, Barueri, Sao Paulo

21 February (Saturday 22 February NZT)
Full time: 36-0 v Ireland (HT 17-0)
Full time: 17-0 v USA (HT 7-0)
Full time: 21-14 v England (HT 7-7)

22 February (Sunday 23 February NZT)
Full time: 35-7 v Netherlands (HT 14-0)
Full time: 21-17 v Canada (HT 7-12)
Full time: 24-12 v Australia (HT 0-12)

Photo desks:  More images from today’s Finals play are available free of charge.  Please contact Juli Clausen if you wish to access these.

Sports desks:  Video interview of Sean Horan available on request.

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: New Zealand 56, Australia 56, Canada 48, Russia 40, England 34, Spain 32, United States 24.

Dubai, UAE: 28, 29 November 2013 (Won by Australia)
Atlanta, USA: 15, 16 February 2014 (won by NZ)
Sao Paulo, Brazil: 21, 22 February 2014 (won by Australia)
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:
    • Kayla McAlister – IRB Player of the Year 2013
  • 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 24, 2014, 19:12:27

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