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No titles for NZ Sevens teams in Madrid

The All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens teams have bowed out in the semifinals at the Madrid Sevens.

In the last major tournament before the Paris Olympics, the Black Ferns Sevens finished third and the All Blacks Sevens fourth, after going out in close losses at Estadio Metropolitano on Sunday (Monday NZ Time).


The Black Ferns fell 21-19 to trans-Tasman and closest Women's World Sevens Series rivals Australia in the semifinals, but then avenged a pool play loss to Canada in a 26-14 victory in the playoff for third.

Wing Mahina Paul scored tries in each match, while Portia Woodman-Wickliffe scored against Australia to bring her tournament tally to five tries.

With Risi Pouri-Lane also scoring, the BFs Sevens led Australia 19-7 with time winding down, but Faith Nathan scored her second in the 14th minute, with just enough time to resume play. Australia eventually controlled by ball, with Maddison Levi going over two minutes after the final siren.

Against Canada, tries from Paul and Theresa Setefano put New Zealand up 12-7 at halftime, before Alena Saili helped extend it to 12 points. The Canucks struck back but Jorja Miller sealed the bronze medals in the 13th minute.

The Black Ferns claimed the WWSS regular season title, winning four of seven tournaments and finishing just two points ahead of Australia, who went on to defeat France in the Grand Finals in Madrid.

Black Ferns Sevens Women's World Sevens Series
The Black Ferns Sevens claimed bronze medals in Madrid. PHOTO: NZ SEVENS

The All Blacks Sevens went winless on day three in Madrid, losing 21-14 to World Sevens Series regular season and Grand Finals winners Argentina in the semifinals, then 17-10 to Fiji in the playoff for third.

Moses Leo scored a try in each match but the New Zealand men failed to score points in the second half of either match.

Tied 14-14 at halftime against Los Pumas, the All Blacks Sevens conceded Matteo Graziano's hat-trick try in the 11th minute in the only scoring at the break. Earlier, Joe Webber and Leo scored to give New Zealand 7-0 and 14-7 leads.

Against Fiji, Leo gave the ABs Sevens an early lead but Fiji hit back through Waisea Nacuqu and Ponepati Loganimasi, before Dylan Collier closed the gap to four after the halftime siren. Iowane Teba scored the winner just after the resumption, with Fiji beating New Zealand twice in Madrid.


Men's semifinal

Argentina 21 (Matteo Graziano 3 tries; Joaquin Pellandini 3 con) All Blacks Sevens 14 (Joe Webber, Moses Leo tries; Andrew Knewstubb 2 con). HT: 14-14

Men's third/fourth playoff

Fiji 17 (Waisea Nacuqu, Ponepati Loganimasi, Iowane Teba tries; Ponepati Loganimasi con) All Blacks Sevens 10 (Moses Leo, Dylan Collier tries). HT: 12-10

Women's semifinal

Australia 21 (Faith Nathan 2, Maddison Levi tries; Tia Hinds 3 con) Black Ferns Sevens 19 (Mahina Paul, Risi Pouri-Lane, Portia Woodman-Wickliffe tries; Risi Pouri-Lane con, Tyla King con). HT: 7-5

Women's third/fourth playoff

Black Ferns Sevens 26 (Mahina Paul, Theresa Setefano, Alena Saili, Jorja Miller tries; Tyla King 3 con) Canada 14 (Charity Williams, Olivia Apps tries; Chloe Daniels 2 con). HT: 12-7


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