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Singapore SVNS, women - Day One

WRAP: We bring you Day One of the women’s action at the Singapore leg of the HSBC SVNS World Series on Friday.

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New Zealand and Australia head to the Singapore National Stadium locked on 106 points and separated at the top of the women’s standings by points difference alone, the Black Ferns Sevens holding a 57-point advantage in that metric.

It means that whoever performs best in the heat and humidity this weekend will finish the regular season as League Winners.

The Black Ferns Sevens are the form team having reeled off three successive tournament victories in Vancouver, Los Angeles and Hong Kong while Australia are yet to win a title since the turn of the year.

All the Day One action below

Pool A

Canada 0 – 5 Ireland

It was a close contest in the first half of the match with neither team able to dominate the game. Ireland opened their campaign with the first try of the match but that would be all that separated the two teams going into the second half. Neither team would be able to cross the line for the rest of the game and that would be enough for the Irish to get home for their first win of the tournament while the Canadians will be kicking themselves for not take their opportunities in the match.

New Zealand 38 – 7 Spain

The log leaders got off to a shaky start against a determined Spanish team with the ball being played on both sides of the field. New Zealand struck first with some good counter-attacking play before the Spanish were able to pierce the defense to get one back on the scoreboard. The Black Ferns would eventually grab a hold on this game in the second half with some scintillating runs as the gaps began to open up which would be all too much for Spain to deal with as New Zealand closed out the game to open their tournament in style and comfort.

Canada 28 – 7 Spain

Canada went into the break with a two try lead, but the scoreline would not convey the full story. Both sides did well to keep the other in the middle of the pitch, clashing tooth and nail for precious territory. Canada worked together well enough to make the most of their chances, however, both tries were well-worked and utilized the space along the edge of the pitch handily. Canada doubled down on what worked in the first half and ran away with the game, taking the lead they gained from their tiny margins in the first half and amplifying it. They secured another try early into the second half and held Spain at bay for much of the half, until an untimely yellow card gave the Spanish the woman advantage they needed to pull one back. Unfortunately the advantage was short-lived as the hooter put an end to a game that could’ve gone either way if not for a few small mistakes.

New Zealand 31 – 12 Ireland

Bew Zealand came out swinging, securing a try in the opening minute of the game as Miller soared passed the ladies in green after being unleashed by her team via some nifty passes. Ireland fought hard to regather themselves and hold to their formation and tactics but New Zealand exerted massive amounts of pressure, eventually breaking the Irish defence again just before the break to put their lead up to 12 points. Ireland didn’t take it lying down, however, and punched back seconds before the half time whistle to set the comeback gears in motion. The gears encountered a pebble in the works at the start of the second half as New Zealand crossed the line with Waaka and Blyde. New Zealand continued to abuse the flanks and made it over the line once more. What started off with the potential to perhaps go either way turned into a romp. Ireland had the last say after powering through the middle by building the phases, but the result remained with New Zealand.

Pool B

France 41 – 7 Japan

This new look French outfit really started out the blocks to get their campaign underway against the Brave Blossoms. It did not take Les Bleus long to open their account in the tournament, persistently putting the attacking phases together to get the first try of the tournament within a few minutes of the match in Montserrat Amedee. Japan would eventually get going with their first points of the tournament early on in the second half as a result of a French yellow card but that would be it for them in the game as France continued to run rampant, ultimately scoring sevens tries and making a big statement in the opening game of the tournament.

United States 12 – 14 South Africa

Both these teams got off to an emphatic start with a clinical display on both attack and defense. The USA showed good continuity from the kick-off to open their tournament with the first try of the match before South Africa could strike back through their stalwart, Nadine Roos off a set-piece scrum. The match was too close to call going into the second half as the scores remained even at one try each until the last couple minutes of the match where a defensive error by South Africa let a tackle slip on the wing for the USA to edge ahead. South Africa would get one last chance to decide their fate in the match after a yellow card to the USA and with set-piece on their 5m line that got them in for the score with a converted try being the deciding factor in the match.

France 49 – 0 South Africa

France handed South Africa an absolute thrashing in their match up, crossing the line like clockwork. The French bagged seven converted tries to see their team to a 49 – 0 win showcasing their skill and prowess. South Africa put together a feeble defensive effort with a dismal attacking plan to match on this occasion. France secured four tries in the first half, already signaling a beating would be en route. Okemba, Noel, and Chrystiaens glided through the South African defence, with Yengo and Amedee joining the party in the second half. A massive confidence boost for France and they will undoubtedly feel the momentum is with them as they progress further into the competition.

United States 12 – 22 Japan

Japan came into the game looking for blood and they found it in the opening two minutes when Othani managed to find her way into space and shoot through the USA defence to get over for the first try. Yazaki followed up a further two minutes later with some of the same. Neither try came with the side of a conversion, so the lead remained at 10 points leading up to half time. The Japanese’ passion ended up costing them as an over zealous defensive effort put Seagusa in the bin with a yellow card. USA used this time to strike back but they try was disallowed. After the break Japan came out swinging. They secured another try thanks to Utsumi squeezing through a tiny gap in the middle of the pitch. USA found their stride with a couple of minutes left to play and secured two tries in response, but the hooter cut their comeback short.

Pool C

Fiji 24 -10 Great Britain

The Fijians came to play in their first round of the tournament displaying a enterprising performance in the first half with some good handling and linking-up between the players to run in two tries to get off to commanding lead. Great Britain would gives themselves something to play for after getting their first try of the match before the end of the first half but the Fijians having an expansive edge on the attack would ensure the victory as Great Britain struggled to contain Fiji’s offloads in the tackle and will need to look at this defensive element in their next game going into the rest of the tournament.

Australia 27 – 10 Brazil

A very entertaining and tightly contested match was had between these two teams. The Brazilians backed their speedsters out wide to score two tries on the wing while Australia continued to match punch for punch with two tries through Faith Nathan as the scores remained level going into the second half. Brazil would run out of steam being unable to score in the second half while Australia continued to come away with points including Nathan getting in for her hat-trick to hand Australia a nervy start but ultimately a convincing victory to open their tournament.

Fiji 29 – 7 Brazil

Fiji enjoyed an expansive first half, dragging Brazil this and what way. The Fijians stretch play from flank to flank, holding nothing back in their runs and rucks. Their efforts bagged them three tries, two of which were converted. Brazil struggle to keep up with the pace set by the Fijians and fell victim to more of the same in the second half as Fiji opened up with another try. Brazil refurbished their defensive strategy, tightening the edges and drawing play to the middle of the pitch. It secured them a try after minutes of phases and shoving in the centre of the pitch. Both sides were awarded a yellow cards for the defensive efforts, but the deficit favoured Fiji as they used the free space to scoot along the flank once more and bag one for the road.

Australia 44 – 0 Great Britain

A troubled start for the Great Britain side as they conceded a try early into the fixture. The momentum stayed with the Australians as the ladies in yellow continued their pressure and went over the try line on three more occasions. The Great Britain defence left massive holes in their structure that allowed Australia to cruise through. The upside was that of the four tries scored in the first half, none of them were converted. Something Australia will want to look into when those tiny margins start making a difference. The second half turned into the Levi Show as the Australian star crossed the line three times putting the game to bed, if it was ever in doubt. Great Britain never really showed up for this ficture, and Australia punished them heavily for it.

 

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