HSBC SVNS 2024: New Zealand emphatic in Grand Final opener; China win two from two

We recap the first day of action at the Grand Final in Madrid as New Zealand show their Championship credentials and China beat Spain and Japan.

HSBC SVNS 2024 League Winners New Zealand kicked off their Grand Final campaign in emphatic style with a 49-14 defeat over Great Britain, while China were the stars of the HSBC SVNS Play-offs with wins over Spain and Japan.

China, who finished first in the HSBC Challenger series, beat Spain, the HSBC SVNS 12th seeds, 12-7, before seeing off Japan by 17-14 to strengthen their chances of securing a spot on the series next season.

Elsewhere, France took top spot in Pool B of the Championship after victory over Fiji, while South Africa and Brazil set up a decider for Pool B in the Play-off competition as they both went two from two on day one. 


HSBC SVNS Championship

Pool A

Portia Woodman-Wickliffe crossed for a five-minute hattrick in the first half against GB to give her side a 21-0 lead at the break. The Black Ferns Sevens didn’t let up in the second, crossing for four more, before Jasmine Joyce came off the bench to soften the score line with two runaway scores.

A dominant first half saw the USA beat Canada 26-19 in their North American showdown despite a late flurry of tries from their opponents. Ilona Maher beat two defenders to put the USA ahead in the first minute, Kayla Canett and Kristi Kirshe taking them to a 21-0 lead at the break.

Piper Logan gave Canada hope in the second, but while they would score twice more, Alex Sedrick had already taken the game out of sight with her second half score.

Pool B

France got their Grand Final weekend off to a flyer with a 36-7 victory over Fiji. They took a slim 10-7 lead into the break but ran away with it in the second, Anne-Cecile Ciofani completing her hattrick as France take the lead in Pool B going into day two.

Australia also started strongly in Pool B with a 33-14 win over Ireland. A duo of brace’s from both the Levi sisters, Maddison and Teagan, plus a fifth from the returning Charlotte Caslick, were enough for the win.

HSBC SVNS Play-off

Pool A

China became the first Challenger series victors in the Play-off tournament with their 12-7 win over Spain. The home side had taken a slim 7-5 lead into the break but went scoreless in the second half, a converted score from Liu Xiaoqian with Spain’s Paula Requena in the bin seeing them home.

And they backed it up in their second game with victory over Japan, going two from two with a 17-14 victory. Japan had opened the scoring but China hit back with three unanswered tries.

Honoka Tsutsumi scored late for Japan but didn’t have enough time for the winner as they lost possession off the kick-off. Japan, however, had started their tournament in convincing fashion with a 32-0 victory over Poland, Chiharu Nakamura and Honoka Tsutsumi both scoring braces.

Meanwhile, Spain gave their home crowd something to cheer about as they replied with an authoritative performance to beat Poland 45-5, leaving plenty to play for in their clash with Japan tomorrow.

Pool B

South Africa recorded confident wins over Argentina and Belgium to take top spot in Pool B on day one in Madrid.

Tries from Nadine Roos and Maria Tshiremba put them 12-0 ahead at the break against Argentina, second seeds from the Challenger series, and while Mayra Genghini replied in the second, both Roos and Tshiremba would cross again in the second for a 24-7 win.

Roos was once again at the centre of the action in their 40-7 victory over Belgium, crossing for a hattrick and scoring 23 of her side’s points as they cruised to victory despite two yellow cards.

It was a similarly dominant start for Brazil in Madrid, who also went unbeaten with a 45-4 defeat over Belgium and a 31-12 victory against Argentina. They will face South Africa to decide the pool tomorrow afternoon.