Hosted by USA Rugby, the opening round of 2019 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series kicked off on October 20-21 in Glendale, Colorado.
Comprising a total of 34 games, the weekend tournament concluded when a promising USA team failed to win their first series title against New Zealand’s all-powerful Black Fern Sevens. Winning the match 33-7, the Kiwi’s now head the competition by 20 points.
In the Bronze Final, Canada took third place, thrashing France 28-0. Fifth place was narrowly contested, however, with last year’s Series winners, Australia, just beating Ireland 21-19.
In another close fought Sunday afternoon playoff, Spain beat Fiji 20-14 to claim the Challenge Cup.
Impact Winner Alena Mikhaltsova in great form
A big crowd-pleaser at the 4,000-seater Infinity Park stadium was DHL Impact Player Award winner Alena Mikhaltsova. Taking home the first Award of the Series with a total score of 57 points, Mikhaltsova racked up 9 breaks, 7 offloads, and 31 carries — helping Russia secure a 7th place finish. Having won two IPA Awards last season, Mikhaltsova now leads the IPA ranking after one event.
Close on Mikhaltsova’s heels was Irish star Lucy Mullhall, who topped the rankings after the first day, but ultimately finished in second place with 48 points and an outstanding 17 tackles. New Zealand’s Sarah Goss came in close third place with 43 points.
The next round of the series takes place in Dubai on 29-30 November.