The New Zealand women’s rugby sevens team have retained their World Cup title with a commanding 29-0 win over France in San Francisco.

Michaela Blyde ran in a hat-trick of tries, with Portia Woodman and Tyla Nathan-Wong also scoring as the Black Ferns Sevens proved too strong and too fast for the French.

The New Zealanders led 15-0 at half-time, Blyde opening the scoring after two minutes, with Woodman and Nathan-Wong also scoring before the break.

Earlier, the Black Ferns Sevens had to work right to the final whistle to edge the United States 26-21 in the semi-finals, trailing the hosts 14-12 at half-time.

The break proved crucial for New Zealand, with replacement Gayle Broughton running 80 metres to score just after the restart.

New Zealand extended its lead further when Woodman outran the US defence from the left wing.

A try to Lauren Doyle on full-time wasn’t enough to pull the match back for the US.

The New Zealand men’s team are on track to defend their title, through to their semi-finals following their 12-7 win over France.

Despite receiving three yellow cards, the All Blacks Sevens emerged victorious and will now face Fiji in Monday morning’s semi-final, after they thumped Argentina 43-7 in their quarter-final.

South Africa recorded a comfortable 36-5 win over Scotland to progress through to the other semi, where they will meet England, who edged the United States 24-19 thanks to an extra time try from Phil Burgess.


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