The New Zealand Women’s Sevens Team has qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games while notching up their fourth World Series tournament win in a row.

The New Zealanders were simply too good in the Cup Final of the HSBC Vancouver Sevens, beating rivals Australia 19-12.

The win, a typically gritty tussle with Australia, was made all the sweeter with qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics also secured during the tournament.

Captain Sarah Hirini said Olympic qualification has been the ambition since the start of the season.

“Our goal from the beginning of this season was to qualify for Paris 2024. While we have now qualified for the Olympics, our season hasn’t finished yet. As a team we want to keep building on what we have already achieved and continue our preparations for the Olympics next year.”

Possession ebbed and flowed in the first half of the final with New Zealand making the initial break, scoring a try through skipper Sarah Hirini.

Australia rallied and Maddison Ashby wrong-footed Hirini to equalise. However, Hirini would have the last laugh in the first spell. Ten meters short of halfway she expertly attracted two defenders and lobbed an offload to an unmarked Stacey Waaka.

New Zealand extended their lead to 19-7 with a thrilling try at the start of the second half. Both sides of the field were explored but no holes were forthcoming. Eventually, Shiray Kaka was absolutely smashed by Ashby but bravely retained the ball with Hirini colossal at the breakdown. Space was found on the short side and Jorja Miller finished.

Australia refused to surrender and when champion Charlotte Caslick scored her 146th try in the World Series, the gap was only seven.

New Zealand was composed and resolute defensively with Hirini named player of the match.

The Black Ferns have won 24 matches in a row and lead Australia by 14 points in the overall standings with two events remaining.

The Hong Kong Sevens is the next event for the both the New Zealand women’s and men’s teams, starting March 31.

Paris 2024 Olympic Summer Games
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