Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Black Ferns Sevens thrash England to complete pool play unbeaten

The Black Ferns Sevens have topped their pool at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, advancing to the semi-finals with a perfect record after defeating hosts England 38-7 in Coventry.

New Zealand were boosted before a ball was even kicked, as talisman Portia Woodman proved fit to play the final pool match after suffering an ankle injury on the tournament's first day.

The victory sets up a semi-final against trans-Tasman rivals Australia, in a repeat of the 2018 Commonwealth Games final, where New Zealand claimed a 17-12 extra-time victory to defeat their hosts.

Portia Woodman.
Portia Woodman. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

Following on from scoring eight tries on the opening day - a double against Canada and six against Sri Lanka - Michaela Blyde was on hand to give New Zealand the lead early in the match. 

Captain Sarah Hirini added her side's second, on hand after a quick pass from Woodman, before Blyde had a second before halftime.

With the boot, Tyla Nathan-Wong was impeccable in the first half, landing three from three to boost the Black Ferns' points differential.

England's Ellie Boatman grabbed a try back for the hosts, and closed the scores to 21-7 as halftime arrived.

After the break though, it was one-way traffic for New Zealand, as halftime substitutions stamped their mark.

Shiray Kaka continued the Black Ferns' scoring with the first points of the second half, before Jazmin Felix-Hotham and Risaleaana Pouri-Lane also grabbed tries in the closing seconds to complete a comfortable victory.

Defeat, coupled with Canada's 74-0 victory over Sri Lanka, knocks England out of medal contention at their home tournament.

In the second semi-final, Fiji will face Canada, with the women's medal matches to be played on Sunday morning (NZ time).

In the men's side of the tournament, the All Blacks Sevens also defeated England, shutting out their hosts for a 20-0 victory.

The win also saw the All Blacks Sevens finish pool play unbeaten, as Samoa also advanced to the quarter-finals.

Also defending the gold medal won on the Gold Coast four years ago, the All Blacks Sevens will face Kenya in their quarter-final, as the runner-up of Pool B.

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