Catch up on the history of the women's Sevens World Cup as we look back on each of the previous three tournaments
Who has won each women’s Sevens World Cup?
The 2022 women’s Sevens World Cup is the fourth edition of the tournament, with one of the great Australasian nations lifting the trophy on each of the previous three occasions. Australia won the first tournament in 2009, before New Zealand claimed consecutive titles over the following two competitions.
Ahead of the next chapter of the tournament in Cape Town, let’s look back at the previous women’s Sevens World Cups.
2009: Australia win dramatic first final
After four editions of the men’s tournament, the first women’s Sevens World Cup was held alongside the men’s equivalent in Dubai in 2009.
The fledgling competition was full of wonderful stories, such as South Africa upsetting Spain in the quarter-finals and Australia defeating a much-fancied England outfit at the same stage. In two enthralling semi-finals that were both decided by seven points or fewer, New Zealand and Australia emerged victorious with wins over USA and South Africa respectively.
In the trans-Tasman final, tries from Nicole Beck and Debby Hodgkinson gave Australia a 10-0 lead, before Justine Lavea and Carla Hohepa crossed to level the scores at 10-10 and force the match into sudden-death extra-time. The additional period lasted only 36 seconds, as Australia’s Shelly Matcham touched down (despite suspicions of a double movement) to give her nation a momentous victory.
Amid the jubilant scenes at The Sevens Stadium, the tournament’s greatest success perhaps came the following October. Citing the inclusion of women into the global showpiece, the International Olympic Committee voted to introduce Rugby Sevens at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
2013: Black Ferns triumph over Canada
The 2013 Sevens World Cup in Moscow saw new names reach the business end of the tournament. Ireland reached the knockout stages after failing to qualify for the tournament at all in 2009, while Spain knocked out defending champions Australia to reach their first semi-final. However, they could not get past Canada, another last four debutant, and the North American side set up a showdown with New Zealand.
In the final, the Black Ferns took a 17-5 lead into half-time through tries from Portia Woodman, Kelly Brazier and Honey Hireme. The superb Ghislaine Landry scored to cut the deficit to five after the break, but Woodman and Kayla McAlister subsequently crossed to secure a 29-12 New Zealand victory.
2018: New Zealand victorious again
The third edition of the women’s Sevens World Cup introduced a new, knockout-only format. Nevertheless, the higher seeds largely avoided embarrassment, with the six highest-ranked sides making the quarter-finals in San Francisco. From then on, the darling of the tournament was France, who beat Canada and then Olympic champions Australia with late tries to secure a surprise place in the final.
Inevitably, their opponents were New Zealand, who overcame a scare to beat hosts USA 26-21 in the semi-finals. Unfortunately for the French, they had run out of magic by this stage and went down 29-0 to the Black Ferns. Tournament top-scorer Michaela Blyde notched a hat-trick, with Portia Woodman and Tyler Nathan-Wong also crossing.
Later that day, the All Blacks retained the men’s Sevens World Cup, meaning New Zealand had won each of the last four tournaments.
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