Blyde hat trick secures NZ triumph

March 4, 2024 2:22 pm

New Zealand’s Michaela Blyde [Source: World Rugby]

Michaela Blyde scored a hat trick of tries to help New Zealand defeat Australia 29-14 in the women’s final of the Los Angeles 7s.

The speedster opened the scores in the first minute for an early 5-0 lead.

Australia then responded with a converted try to Charlotte Caslick to take a slender 7-5 lead.

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Blyde crossed the chalk again minutes later with an individual effort to score underneath the posts as New Zealand led 12-7.

Australia went into the halftime with six players on the field after star forward Maddison Levi was sin-binned for making contact with Kiwi rover Shiray Kaka’s head during a tackle.

Risi Pouri-Lane continued the onslaught in the second half with another try for New Zealand to extend their lead 17-7.

Veteran New Zealand speedster Portia Woodman-Wickliffe then got on the scoreboard seconds later, shrugging of a tackle and beating the cover defence to touch down in the corner, bringing the scores to 22-7.

Australia’s Levi then made amends for her sin-binning by scoring a try to extend her lead as the season’s top try-scorer with 38 tries.

Blyde then settled the final scores with another run-away try to seal the deal for New Zealand and back-to-back titles after clinching the Vancouver 7s last week.

Australia still leads the World Series standings in the women’s division with 90 points, followed closely by New Zealand at 86.

France are in third with 74, followed by USA (64), Canada (62) and Ireland (48).

The Fiji Airways Fijiana side remains in 7th spot with 42 points.