HSBC SVNS 2024: Australia crowned women's HSBC SVNS Champions

We recap the final day of women's action in Madrid as Australia take the HSBC Championship title, and China earn their spot on the SVNS series next season.

Australia claimed the HSBC Championship trophy as a Maddison Levi hat-trick helped her side beat France 26-7 for their first cup win since Cape Town. 

Australia, who were League Winners frontrunners almost all season before losing out to New Zealand in Singapore, were the best team all weekend in Madrid, seeing off the Black Ferns Sevens in a thrilling semi-final comeback. 

The Blacks Ferns Sevens would go on to beat Canada for the bronze medal, revenge for their loss to the same opponents in the pool stage.

In the HSBC Play-off, China will replace South Africa on the SVNS Series next season as the newcomers defeated Belgium 33-0 in their qualifier final, while South Africa fell to a 22-0 defeat at the hands of Spain.


HSBC SVNS Championship


Faith Nathan opened the score for Australia in the final, stepping off her left and striding away from the French defence with Anne-Cecile Ciofani down injured. 

Les Bleues' pivot, Ciofani, left the field soon after, but it was Australia left defending ferociously as France kicked behind. Yolaine Yengo soon crossed for France as they got their first of the final to draw all-square, the scoreboard reading 7-7 at the break. 

Inevitably, Maddison Levi was next on the scoresheet, under the posts to put Australia seven ahead, and they turned the screw as Sariah Paki plucked their restart out the sky, Levi eventually going over for her second in the left corner. 

Levi would add a third as France fell away to secure their Grand Final title. This loss extends France’s unfortunate record of having never won a series tournament by another season with a home Olympics on the horizon.


Australia v New Zealand 

A breathless opening half saw both sides go through the phases in attack, but New Zealand were first to strike through Mahina Paul. Tia Hinds used her pace to get one back for Australia, but trailed 7-5 at the break. 

New Zealand took their lead further ahead in the second half, Jorja Miller’s ripping the ball from Australian hands to set up Risi Pouri-Lane, before Portia Woodman-Wickliffe used all her power to barrel through Charlotte Caslick and take her side 19-7 ahead.

With less than a minute to go, Australia finally hit back with a brilliantly worked try, finished by Faith Nathan on the left flank, to give them a shot. Maddison Levi stretched to her full height to win the following kick off for Australia, and another patiently worked move found Caslick on the left, who broke through before finding Levi to finish. 

Tia Hinds, who’d kicked both her previous conversions, stepped up with the game on the line and sent a nerveless kick through the middle of the posts to complete a famous comeback. 

Canada v France 

Les Bleues Sevens took a strong lead into the break against Canada, three tries seeing them lead 19-5 after a brace from Seraphine Okemba and another from Yolaine Yengo, gathering a loose Canadian ball to grab another just before half time. 

Canada got themselves back in the game off a loose lineout from France, Keyara Wardley pouncing and powering away to draw her side within nine. 

Valentine Lothoz saw yellow, leaving France a player down for much of the final three minutes, and Canada once again took advantage, Asia Hogan-Rochester using her pace off the set piece to find an outside break and score. 

With Canada now just two points behind, France played some desperate rugby, giving away a flurry of penalties to give the Canadians hope. A desperate final defensive set saw some ferocious French defence, eventually ripping Canada’s ball into touch to reach the final.

Bronze final 

In a repeat of Saturday’s astonishing Canadian victory, Charity Williams put her stamp on the game with a typical show of pace to go under the sticks for the opener, but Mahina Paul would soon stride away to level things. Theresa Setefano added a second for a 14-7 Black Ferns Sevens lead at the break.

A nervy second half saw the game remain tight to the final minutes, but a try from Jorja Miller took New Zealand beyond a score ahead, their 26-14 win securing the bronze medal.

HSBC SVNS Play-off

China, who went unbeaten all weekend in Madrid, secured their place on the SVNS series next season in emphatic style, their 33-0 defeat of Belgium taking them to the HBCS SVNS stage. 

South Africa lost their core nation status as they lost 22-0 in a SVNS shootout with Spain. The home side took a 10-0 lead into the break and held South Africa to scoreless for the full game as they added two more scores in the second half. 

Japan, facing up against Argentina, were able to maintain their spot on the series with a 26-12 win, as did Brazil with a confident 38-7 defeat of Poland.