New Zealand must build on almost perfect display
February 18, 2014
New Zealand celebrate their success in Atlanta © Getty Images
The New Zealand women's sevens rugby team head to Brazil having collected their latest piece of silverware and facing the challenge of reproducing their dominant performance.
The defending series champions ran in six tries against Canada to win the Atlanta leg and go top of the points table, coach Sean Horan describing their final performance as one "you will remember for a long, long time".
Now, Horan said, New Zealand must build on that display.
"How can we continue to progressively get better from a final like that where everything pretty much went the way we wanted it go - that will be challenge," he said.
Manawatu's Sarah Goss was named player of the tournament, and Horan praised the work ethic of his vice-captain, usually a midfield back in the 15-woman game, in adjusting to the demands of operating as a Sevens forward.
The New Zealand squad also includes Taranaki teenagers Gayle Broughton and Michaela Blyde, and Waikato's Jordan Webber, who was a late injury replacement.
"They can only get better, and that's probably the scary thing," he said in recognition of the program targeting the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
"They have a natural ability, and they work hard off the field to perform like they did." Broughton, 17, and Blyde, 18, both scored tries in the final, with the former matching Kayla McAlister and Portia Woodman as New Zealand's equal top scorer with five.
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