Black Ferns Sevens Streaks Ended, Canada Triumphs in Kitakyushu


For the first time since the Sydney Sevens in 2017, the Women’s circuit has a winner not named either Australia or New Zealand. In that tournament in Sydney, Canada were triumphant and they were triumphant in a thrilling cup final against England, 7-5, to take the Kitakyushu Sevens. 

Ghislaine Landry scores the try in the last second and then converted to give Canada their first cup since 2017.

The Cup Final, the lowest scoring one ever on the women’s circuit, was decided on the final play. England up 5-0 on a try by Amy Wilson Hardy were trying to keep Canada at bay, but Canada found a way through through captain Ghislaine Landry who went in under the sticks and then converted the try to give Canada the cup. In the process, they cut New Zealand’s lead in the series standing to just six with two stops to go—one of which is in Canada in Langford, BC.

New Zealand, who had won the last six tournaments on the circuit dating back to last year, had their unbeaten streak ended in pool play by France, 29-7, at 38 matches. They were then subsequently knocked out in the cup quarterfinals by eventual bronze-medalists USA, 26-19. 

The Black Ferns eventually placed fifth with a 34-26 win over Australia, but not before the Wallaroos had scored 26 unanswered points. New Zealand came into Kitakyushu with a 12-point lead in the series, but leaves with that lead cut in half. 

The USA breezed through pool play, but ultimately fell in the semifinals to Canada, 24-12. They would overturn an early 12-0 deficit to France to win 36-12. They are third in the standings on 64 points, eight back of New Zealand. 

Australia are in the fourth and final automatic qualification spot for Tokyo 2020 on 56 points with England ten behind them in fifth. At the other end of the table, China is in danger of losing their core status for next season as they are in 11th and the lowest-placed core team at the moment. They are three points behind Fiji, who took home the challenge trophy, in tenth. 

The next stop on the circuit is Langford, BC on May 11-12. The top four will all have a chance to qualify for Tokyo at Westhills Stadium, but the race for the series title has opened up considerably. 

All photos in this story credited to Mike Lee of KLC Fotos.

Kitakyushu Sevens Women’s Dream Team:

Karen Paquin (CAN)

Alex Matthews (ENG)

Chloe Pelle (FRA)

Anne-Cecile Ciofani (FRA)

Alev Kelter (USA)

Ghislaine Landry (CAN)

Holly Aitchison (ENG)

Player of the Final:  Ghislaine Landry (CAN)


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