Rugby Sevens: New Zealand earn clean sweep at Hong Kong Sevens

It was double delight for New Zealand at the Hong Kong Sevens as men's and women's teams defended their titles in contrasting style.

The All Blacks Sevens brought the curtain down on three days of action at Hong Kong Stadium with a tense 10-7 win over France in the men's final in front of a sold-out crowd of 40,000.

It followed a one-sided women's decider in which the Black Ferns Sevens ran away from the United States 36-7, fueled by a hat-trick to winger Michaela Blyde.

By lodging titles at the spiritual home of sevens for the second straight year, both the men's and women's teams boosted their world series championship campaigns.

A third straight tournament crown lifts the Black Ferns Sevens level with Australia at the top of the standings - although they are classified as leaders on points difference - with two rounds to play.

The men improve one spot to fifth overall following their first tournament win of the year and are just three points short of third place, having made a slow start to the season.

They have little chance of overtaking leaders Argentina ahead of the final tournaments in Singapore and Madrid.

Jorja Miller breaks during the final.
Jorja Miller breaks during the final. Photo credit: Getty Images

Blyde stars

Speedy winger Blyde's hat-trick made her the first player - man or woman - to achieve that feat five times in a world series Cup final.

Playing in her 50th tournament, Blyde said the Black Ferns are beginning to peak after failing to win any of the first three tournaments of their campaign.

"To come back with back-to-back wins in Hong Kong is really special. We're really proud of the way we performed today," she said.

"We obviously weren't impressed or happy with how we performed at the start of the season. We had a lot of things that we needed to work on.

"We just need to bring it back to basics. There are a lot of teams that are starting to develop their skill set very quickly so for us we just wanted to stay on top of the game by being the best versions of ourselves, doing the simple things right, width-to-width, good accuracy with our passes and to try and be fitter and faster than most teams.

"As soon as you bring some speed and fitness into the game, you take control of momentum. If we can keep on top of that in our team, we can hopefully continue this constancy moving on into the Olympics."

Blyde also crossed in the crucial 28-14 semi-final win over Australia, with New Zealand coming from behind twice, powering away with the last three tries of the match against their arch rivals.

Grinding win for All Blacks Sevens

Like the women, the All Blacks Sevens were unbeaten throughout the tournament but faced a run of tight matches, including the final.

The first half ended 0-0, but a try from veteran skipper Scott Curry broke the deadlock and a second from Cody Vai after a French mistake powered New Zealand clear.

A French consolation try wasn't enough, with Vai saying victory felt more "special" than their Hong Kong title last year.

"Some of the boys in this team right now have never won a Hong Kong," he said.

"To win it with them is a better feeling because they've been in the team for a while and this was one of their goals and I'm happy to achieve it with them. It's all in the team. They're making it easier for me. They do their job, I do my job and its teamwork.

"It means a lot to us. Hong Kong is one of the ones that we want to turn around and (we'll) probably go up from there until the Olympics. This is not it. This is part of the journey and the end journey is obviously the Olympics."

New Zealand pipped Fiji 19-12 in the quarter-finals thanks to a late try while they beat Australia 26-12 in the semi-finals.

The penultimate tournament is in Singapore on 3-5 May before the grand final in Madrid four weeks later.