Rugby Sevens: Michaela Blyde hat-trick against Australia inspires Black Ferns Sevens to Los Angeles title

The Black Ferns Sevens have sealed their second title of the World Sevens Series, toppling arch-rivals Australia 29-14 in the final of the Los Angeles leg.  

A week on from claiming the title in Vancouver, a Michaela Blyde hat-trick proved too great for the World Series leaders to overcome, as New Zealand continues their upward trajectory.  

The win was the Black Ferns' second straight tournament victory, and closed the gap at the top of the World Series to just four points, as Australia took silver.

Michaela Blyde scores against Australia.
Michaela Blyde scores against Australia. Photo credit: Getty Images

New Zealand were left sweating from the first whistle, as Jorja Miller stayed down hurt in the opening minute, and was taken from the field on a medicab.  

But as the Black Ferns Sevens counter-attacked after a turnover from captain Risi Pouri-Lane, a huge overlap on the left sent Michaela Blyde over in the corner for the first try.  

A mistake from the following kick-off by Tyla King, though, opened the door for Australia, as a Sharni Smale break set up Charlotte Caslick to equalise, before taking the lead through the boot of Tegan Levi.  

Down 7-5, a solo effort from Blyde gave the Kiwis the lead again, as her 11th try of the tournament was scored from inside her own half.  

Australia were hit again before the break, as Maddison Levi was shown a yellow card for a clash of heads with Shiray Kaka, as New Zealand took a 12-7 lead into halftime.  

In the final seconds of Levi's yellow card, Pouri-Lane rubbed salt into Australia's wounds, and made the most of an overlap on the right, to extend the Black Ferns Sevens' lead to 10 points.  

And with their tails up, the Black Ferns Sevens added their fifth try, as Portia Woodman-Wickliffe outpaced the Australian defence to score another, and all but put the game to bed.

Levi's return kept Australia in the contest, as a runaway try closed the gap to 22-14, but still left New Zealand with breathing room.  

But in the final two minutes, Blyde completed her hat-trick, again running from deep to outpace Australia's defence and give New Zealand another tournament victory.   

The Black Ferns Sevens can bid to make it three tournament wins in a row in April, when the World Series travels to the iconic Hong Kong leg.