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New Zealand Women take China Sevens

Published: 8:17AM Monday April 01, 2013 Source: ONE Sport

New Zealand Women have defeated England 19-5 to claim the Final of the China Sevens and their second title in the IRB 'Women's Sevens World Series this evening.

Both New Zealand and England went into the Final undefeated after rain and lightning affected pool play on day one of the tournament at Guangzhou Uni Town Stadium.

Both teams also had a tournament title apiece with New Zealand claiming Dubai last year and England taking Houston in February.

Rain continued to be a feature of play on the last day of the China Sevens.

Although England was first to score, New Zealand was up 12-5 at half time. England came back from the break on the attack, but the New Zealanders held out with outstanding defence to deny England any equalisers.

New Zealand's victory at the third of four World Series tournaments, means they are eight points ahead of England on the leaderboard.

Coach Sean Horan said: "I am incredibly proud of the team and the work they put in over the two days. They stuck to their plan and were perfectly clinical in their execution of that game plan.

"They showed a very superior set of skills and despite the monsoon-like conditions we had for two days, they were exceptional in their ball handling.

"Our defence was excellent particularly in the Final and they demonstrated a real commitment to defence while maintaining patience with the ball in hand which gave them a real edge."

Captain Hurina Manuel said: "It felt like we got better with every game, and the weather didn't phase us at all - if anything, we became more focussed.

"We knew England were big runners so we were pretty clear that we had to shut down those opportunities to keep them out of the game."

Star boot Kelly Brazier, who dotted down twice in the Final, was a stand out for the New Zealand team over the two days, providing outstanding leadership on the field.

Portia Woodman, equal with two others, was the highest try scorer (7 tries) over the two days, while Brazier (6), Honey Hireme (6) and Kayla McAlister (6) also rank in the top 10 try scorers.

Brazier notched up the second highest points of the tournament with 44 points.

Finals Day results:

Quarterfinal: New Zealand 35 v Ireland 5
Tries: Portia Woodman 2, Kayla McAlister 2, Kelly Brazier
Conversion: Brazier 3
Halftime: 5-5

Semifinal: New Zealand 24 v USA 12
Tries: Kelly Brazier, Kalya McAlister 2, Ruby Tui
Conversions: Brazier 2
Half time: 12-7

CHINA SEVENS CUP FINAL New Zealand 19 v England 5
Tries: Ruby Tui, Kelly Brazier 2
Conversions: Brazier, Tyla Nathan-Wong
Half time: 12-5