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Madrid SVNS, Day One - Women

LIVE UPDATES: Join us as we bring you LIVE updates on Day One of the HSBC SVNS winner-takes-all Grand Final – involving the top eight placed women’s teams after the regular season.

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Meanwhile, the promotion and relegation play-off competition will see eight teams playing for their SVNS status as the quarterfinal matches on Sunday are set to decide which four teams will secure their places in the 2024-25 season.

Meanwhile in the women’s Grand Final fans can look forward to seeing arch-rivals Australia and New Zealand do battle along with the likes of reigning Olympic silver medallists France and Ireland who won the Perth SVNS title in January.

Reigning Olympic and Series champions New Zealand are in Pool A with the United States, Canada and Great Britain, while Australia, France, Fiji and Ireland are in a very competitive-looking Pool B.

Championship Pool A

United States 26 – 19 Canada

USA started off with a bang by scoring in the first minute. They maintained control of the game scoring another two converted tries that went unanswered by Canada. In the second seven is when the Canadians came to life, scoring three tries of their own and bringing the game to the USA. They showed good character to build on their comeback, but USA stayed competitive and secured a try of their own in the second half, which was the difference between the North American teams. A fine showing by both sides overall.

New Zealand 49 – 14 Great Britain

New Zealand commanded the first half, pressuring the British throughout and keeping them locked on their side of the pitch. The British struggled to string together enough passes to formulate a threatening attack. Woodman-Wickliffe enjoyed all the praise in the first half, securing a hatrick while King got three conversions. The beating continued in the second half with Blyde getting onto the scoreboard, opening up the flood gates for the rest of the NZ side. In all they tallied 49 points. Britain had something to say in the second half, going over the line twice themselves in the last minute and after the hooter. A decent consolation considering the situation.

Championship Pool B

France 36 – 7 Fiji

A relatively even start by both sides. Fiji poked and prodded at the French defence but it was the ladies in blue that pierced the veil first. They continued to smother the Fiji side after their try. Fiji struggled to get out of their half for the longest time. They made it out eventually, but via a restart kick as Ciofani picked up a booted ball and shrugged off her lady to make it over the line. France maintained control of the game, holding the momentum just out of reach of Fiji who seemed to be preparing a comeback at different times in the second half, but could never quite see it through. A state of affairs that benefitted Ciofani, who made it her mission to bag a hatrick.

Australia 33 – 14 Ireland

Australia got the start they wanted by scoring early in the first half with Levi doing what she does best. Followed up swiftly by Caslick who snuck through a gap in the center of the pitch at the Irish 10 before shooting forward to get Australia their second. Ireland countered with the ol’ one-two, netting 14 points in three minutes to level things before the break. Levi came through for Australia once more in the second half showing some more of her individual skill. Ireland got awarded a yellow card for their defensive efforts, setting them back even more and crushed any hopes of a comeback. Australia were well positioned to take t he game in the second half, and did.

Qualifier Pool A

Spain 7 – 12 China

A slow game between these two sides despite the fiery opener from Spain, going over the line within the opening minutes after a textbook collection of passes that allowed De Corres to weave passed her woman and go between the sticks. Spain set themselves back with two yellow cards in the first half, giving China the opportunity to pull one back, which they did. The conversion was missed, which sent them into the break trailing by 2 points. China had some discipline issues themselves in the second half, getting a lady sent to the bin. They rode out the lady disadvantage and shot through the Spanish defence once at full strength, giving them the slight lead they needed to take the game which was a lot closer than they would’ve liked.

Japan 32 – 0 Poland

Japan enjoyed a comfortable first half, building patiently throughout the first seven. Their attacking strategy left Poland reeling after conceding tries every two minutes in the first half with no real response from the Polish. Poland played most of the game in their half, defending where they could but with little success as Japan picked them apart with relative ease. The second half continued in a similar fashion, with Japan choosing their targets and making them. Poland struggled along and never looked like they were in it. Solid performance from Japan.

Spain 45 – 5 Poland

A strong start for Spain, scoring in the first few minutes and doubling their lead shortly after. The Spanish ladies bullied the Polish side by keeping them on the backfoot with little possession. Poland did make some expansive attempts when they had possession, but nothing lethal enough to bypass the Spanish defence. In the second half, the Spanish side continued their dominance by crossing the line four times. Poland looked to be toothless for much of the half, showing no signs of real aggression, save for the end of the game where they salvaged the ball and put together a decent enough effort to make it over the line.

Japan 14 – 17 China

A tight match played by these two sides, with the momentum shifting both ways numerous times. Japan opened the scoring well into the second half, controlling the the game with territory and possession. China kept it competitive with some bold attacks of their own, but only found success late in the first half. Better late than never after they managed a quickfire double, putting them ahead of Japan at 7 – 10, but missing two conversions. Japan struggled to show the same control in the second half, conceding another try before scoring one of their own. The missed conversions hurt China, but not enough to cost them as they walked away with a narrow win.

Qualifier Pool B

South Africa 24 – 7 Argentina

South Africa kicked off the Madrid Women’s SVNS with a bang, after they made it over the line following a scrum inside the Argentine half within the first two minutes. The ladies in blue and white showed no signs of being phased by the early score and matched the opposition’s energy. SA turned it up a notch and flew over again after a darting run from Tshiremba. Argentina showed strong intent in the second half, securing a try via the efforts of Genghini, but South Africa quashed any hopes of a comeback by scoring twice more.

Brazil 45 – 5 Belgium

Belgium opened up with some adventurous runs, stretching Brazil this way and that. After a few minutes of rubber-banding the Brazilian defence, they made it over to secure the first points, but it was short-lived as Silva slipped into space after stealing possession, which saw her run it over the line under the sticks. Brazil took it a step further and bagged another before the whistle, winding Belgium on the way to their den. Brazil came out swinging in the second half, dominating the Belgians and making it look as if the exciting runs of the first half was nothing more than a fluke. Brazil secured five more tries in the second seven.

South Africa 40 – 7 Belgium

Belgium with an atrocious start after a line out following the kickoff is sent along the line but a hospital pass allowed South Africa to pounce as Roos kicked it forward for herself. She chased and put it down behind the sticks for the easiest try she’ll score this weekend. That try set the tone for the first half as SA continued to run circles around Belgium. They slowed down a bit in the second half and Belgium made the most of this by sneaking over the line with a well-worked team try – Blommaert the lady who got her name on the board. Overall, a dominant performance by South Africa with Belgium never really looking like they were in it.

Brazil 31 – 12 Argentina

The opening minutes forecasted a tight game between the two sides, with both teams securing some points for their side with converted tries. Brazil then took their South American rivals by storm with a flurry of tries, going over twice more in the first half with a further two tries in the second. Argentina struggled along for much of the game, but did come away with something to show for their efforts, bagging two tries in this fixture. Brazil’s speedy build ups and tricky inside passes proved to be too much for the Argentine ladies team. A convincing win for Brazil.

 

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