Sevens teams claim World Series titles
The All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens have secured the 2020 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series titles with the remainder of tournaments officially cancelled.
World Rugby confirmed earlier this week, the Series titles would be awarded to the All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens teams, their first combined victory since the 2014 season.
The season has been halted early due to COVID-19, with four men’s and three women’s tournaments cancelled.
The New Zealand teams were leading the standings.
New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Mark Robinson congratulates the teams on their achievement.
“While this probably isn’t the way the teams would have liked to claim the Series titles, it is a reflection of the impressive form they were in and their consistent performances throughout the season.
“It is a real credit to all players and the wider management for the work they were doing in the build up to the Tokyo Olympics, and I’m sure they will pick up where they left off when they reassemble later in the year.”
It is the 13th title for the All Blacks Sevens, who had won three of six tournaments played this season, with titles in Cape Town, Hamilton and Vancouver.
Impressively, the team only lost three matches across all six events, and led the standings with 115 points, 11 ahead of South Africa in second.
Co-captains Scott Curry and Tim Mikkelson were leading from the front in the first six tournaments, with Curry selected in three tournament Dream Teams and Mikkelson the team’s leading try scorer.
Black Ferns veteran Kelly Brazier. File photo/Bruce Barnard/SunLive.
The All Blacks Sevens scored 858 points across the season, almost 100 more than their closest rival.
The Black Ferns Sevens claim back-to-back Series titles and were in threatening form before the cancellation of the Series.
The team won four consecutive tournaments in Dubai, Cape Town, Hamilton and Sydney to hold a commanding 16-point lead in the standings.
It is their sixth Series title in eight seasons of the Women’s competition.
Consistent on both attack and defence, the Black Ferns Sevens led the standings for most points with 783 and most tackles with 441.
Veterans Kelly Brazier, Ruby Tui and Niall Williams were the season’s top tacklers while Stacey Fluhler’s break-through year included leading the try scoring tally, being selected in four out of five Dream Teams and picking up two Impact Player of the Tournament titles.
The All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens teams are currently on leave with many players involved in club rugby before aiming for selection in the Mitre 10 Cup and Farah Palmer Cup competitions.