Off-field culture key to Black Ferns Sevens World Series win

Black Ferns Sevens winger Michaela Blyde says the team's shortcomings at the Rio Olympics was the main catalyst for success in the World Series.

The Black Ferns proved they were currently the best women's Sevens team in the world earlier in the week, winning their fifth tournament of the season and claiming the World Series with a dominant 16 point win.

It's a big turnaround for the Kiwis who fell to a heart-breaking loss to Australia in the final of the 2016 Rio Olympics, going down 24-17.

Blyde, who was the top try scorer of the whole 2016/17 series with 40 tries, said the win was the culmination of a lot of hard work that started after the loss to Australia.

"We've been pretty much training really really hard since November last year," Blyde told Newshub.

"The Olympics was a big event and it was disappointing for some, exciting for others but we just wanted to come out in this World Series with new faces, with new management and just show what the black jersey can really do."

The Black Ferns were unstoppable this season, winning the Dubai, Las Vegas, Kitakyushu, Langford and Clermont legs of the World Series, only missing out in Sydney where they came third.

Blyde says the biggest aspect they worked on was off the field rather than on it.

"I think we focused on our off-field stuff more than our on-field. We focused on our environment and our culture making sure that we had our relationships with players and management right and the on-field just spoke for itself."

"Obviously we do train for the game plans and the tournaments that we play but we don't go into the tournaments thinking that we're going to win, we just think about one game at a time."

While they've enjoyed a dominant year, it hasn't been all smooth-sailing, losing some key players to the Black Ferns 15s side.

But according to the Taranaki speedster, it's a credit to the development pathways for women in New Zealand rugby.

"That just proves how much depth we have in New Zealand in women's rugby. We did lose a couple of core players to the Black Ferns 15 team but we were very happy for them.

"They've got a big event coming up in August so we'll be supporting them big time."