After helping her team win the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series, there are several reasons Michaele Blyde might say this was her “favorite season of all time.”
There was the Black Ferns’ nearly perfect season, which only saw them lose once to the US in February.
Blyde was the season’s top try scorer, racking up a whopping 40 tries for New Zealand over the course of the season.
Finally, Blyde’s steady commitment to excellent performance throughout the season saw her prevail in a very tight race for the winner of the overall DHL Impact Player Award. She becomes the first woman earn this distinction.
The DHL Impact Player for the 2016-17 Season is... New Zealand's Michaela Blyde! pic.twitter.com/w03OgjJYHW— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) June 25, 2017
“It’s an excellent honor to receive a pretty prestigious trophy like this,” Blyde said as she and her teammates basked in their Series win. “I can’t wait for next season already!”
Consistency and discipline day in and day out is what allowed Blyde to move to the top of the Impact Player Award standings during the semi-final against France at the final tournament in Clermont-Ferrand, France. She beat out Russia’s Alena Mikhaltsova by 14 points, finishing with a total of 279.
“You’ve got to be able to do the basics: catch, pass, tackle, and clean out. All vital in the sport of Sevens,” Blyde said. “But this is something I wasn’t expecting! My core role was just to score tries, so it’s an absolute bonus to receive something like this.”
Asked what it was like to stand out as a star on New Zealand’s winning team, Blyde was quick to give credit to her entire team, saying “any one of them is capable of winning an award like this.”
Blyde started the 2016-17 Sevens Series with a fourth-place finish in the DHL Impact Award at the Dubai tournament, and had her biggest tournament at the penultimate event, scoring 54 points in Langford.
Since debuting on the Sevens scene in February 2014 in Atlanta, Blyde has played in 14 tournaments and is clearly in top form.
The schedule for the 2017/18 HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series will be announced soon, and DHL can’t wait for another season of Sevens action and to see outstanding players like Michaela Blyde back on the pitch! Be sure to follow @DHLrugby on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest.