The New Zealand Black Ferns, winners of four out of six editions of the Women’s Sevens Series, is bucking for another title heading into the fourth stage of the 2018-19 series, having won the first three legs.
They defeated the U.S. in the season opener in Glendale, Colorado; Canada in Dubai and defending champion Australia in Sydney in February to stand with a perfect 60 points. The U.S. women have finished 2-4-3 in the three rounds and are second with 48 points, and Canada and Australia both have 46. The top four teams will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Tournament; the U.S. has never finished higher than fourth, and only in the inaugural 2012-13 season.
This week’s tourney in Kitakyushu, Japan has three pools in the prelim round:
● Pool A: New Zealand, France, Russia, Japan
● Pool B: Australia, Canada, Spain, China
● Pool C: United States, Ireland, Fiji, England
Pool play will be held on Saturday and part of Sunday, with the playoffs finishing on Sunday.
Canada’s Ghislaine Landry continues to lead the scoring parade, with 106, followed by Michaela Bryde (100) and Tyla Nathan-Wong (96) of New Zealand. Bryde leads in tries with 20.
Look for results here.