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Double sevens titles for NZ in Hong Kong

Titles for both the Black Ferns and All Blacks at the Hong Kong Sevens
New Zealand sides took both titles at the Hong Kong Sevens PHOTO: HSBC SVNS

Double title delight for New Zealand at the Hong Kong Sevens as men's and women's teams defended their titles in contrasting style.

The All Blacks Sevens won a tense 10-7 win over France in the men's final in front of a sold-out crowd of 40,000 after the Black Ferns Sevens had run away from the United States 36-7, fueled by a hat-trick to winger Michaela Blyde.

Blyde's hat-trick made her the first player - man or woman - to achieve that feat five times in a world series Cup final.

Blyde also crossed in the crucial 28-14 semi-final win over Australia, with New Zealand coming from behind twice, powering away with the last three tries of the match against their arch rivals.

The Black Ferns are now level with Australia at the top of the standings - although they are classified as leaders on points difference - with two rounds to play.

The men improve one spot to fifth overall following their first tournament win of the year and are just three points short of third place, having made a slow start to the season.

They have little chance of overtaking leaders Argentina ahead of the final tournaments in Singapore and Madrid.

The All Blacks were unbeaten throughout the tournament but faced a run of tight matches, including the final.

The first half ended 0-0, but a try from veteran skipper Scott Curry broke the deadlock and a second from Cody Vai after a French mistake powered New Zealand clear.

A French consolation try wasn't enough, with Vai saying victory felt more "special" than their Hong Kong title last year.

The penultimate tournament is in Singapore on 3-5 May before the grand final in Madrid four weeks later.


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