Rugby Sevens: Black Ferns Sevens' dominance in Australia ends with dramatic quarter-final defeat to hosts

  • 28/01/2024
Michaela Blyde scores against Australia.
Michaela Blyde scores against Australia. Photo credit: Photosport

Black Ferns Sevens have been knocked out the Australian leg of the World Series courtesy of a dramatic quarter-final defeat against the hosts.

After going through pool play unbeaten, the reigning champions fell 24-14 to Australia in match that included red cards against each team.

The defeat was the Black Ferns first in Australia in 21 matches, having won the previous three tournaments across the Tasman.

Young Ferns star Jorja Miller was sent packing after a head-to-head clash when attempting a tackle in just the first minute of the contest, which immediately put the NZ women on the backfoot. 

Australia capitalised on their numerical advantage by running out to a 12-0 lead, only for Maddison Levi to be shown a red card – also for direct head contact in the tackle – to even the playing field moments before halftime.

The Ferns responded with two quick tries, Michaela Blyde dotting down on both occasions to put the New Zealanders back in front 14-12.

But much to the delight of the locals, the Aussies weren't done. Charlotte Caslick restored their lead with a try, before Dominique du Toit put the nail in the NZ coffin to seal the win late.

Australia move on to face USA in the semi-finals on Sunday afternoon. 

In the men's competition, All Blacks Sevens failed to make the quarter-final stage after Fiji overcame a 14-point deficit to claim a 21-14 in their final Pool C fixture.