Do New Zealand have what it takes to topple the Aussies in Rugby Sevens?

Liv Butler
Authored by Liv Butler
Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2024 - 00:20

Vancouver was the latest city to be visited by the HSBC Rugby SVNS circus, bringing in their hot new blend of music, culture, cuisine, and of course, rugby sevens. For the first three rounds hosted in Dubai, Cape Town, and Perth, Australia had dominated, clinching two golds and a silver medal respectively.

This put them comfortably ahead on the table, leaving their closest competitors, France and New Zealand, lagging behind. Meanwhile, team GBR couldn’t replicate their bronze place finish from the previous round, but did maintain eighth position on the table overall.

Round Four

That was until the latest round in Vancouver, where Australia lost to the likes of France and Canada, leaving them in fourth place, with New Zealand ultimately taking the gold. The Black Ferns Sevens' performance in Vancouver was nothing short of spectacular, culminating in a triumphant victory over France with a score of 35-19 in the final. A standout player, Portia Woodman-Wickliffe, dazzled spectators and opponents with a hat-trick of tries, closing the gap between themselves and Australia to 6 points.

Lessons for GBR

Great Britain's third place in Perth shows they can aim higher by learning from top teams. Adopting New Zealand's approach to simplifying play and integrating new talent, along with Australia's focus on consistency and mental resilience, could enhance their competitiveness. Continuous improvement and strategic adaptation are key to climbing up the leaderboard.

The Trans-Tasmanian Feud

Historically, the Black Ferns Sevens have demonstrated that they possess the talent, teamwork, and tenacity that they belong at the highest levels. Their strategy of simplifying the game, focusing on creating space and effectively utilising the ball, has proven successful.

While Australia still maintains their position at the top, their bronze medal finish in Vancouver, where they were bested by Canada, may serve as a wake-up call and an opportunity to reassess ahead of the upcoming rounds​​.

The question remains: Do New Zealand have what it takes to topple the Aussies?

The gap between the two teams is narrowing, and with New Zealand's recent performances, they have shown that they are not only contenders, but also capable of overcoming the Australian challenge. As the series progresses, it will be fascinating to see how both teams adapt and evolve. The stage is set for an epic showdown, with rugby fans around the world eagerly anticipating the next clash between these two rugby giants.

Looking to follow the series as it progresses? You can stay up-to-date with rugby sevens developments and news at

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