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The New Zealand women, defending 7s champions, played in their annual country sevens tournament with Auckland defeating defending champion Manawatu 29-14. These were also last year’s finalists.
Auckland, led by player of the year Kayla McAlister, managed a 24-0 halftime margin with four tries to nil. McAlister, out since mid-2014 with an injury, scored 12 tries in the tournament and seems to be on pace for a full recovery before the start of the 2015 Women’s Sevens World Series.
Manawatu, led by Black Ferns’ captain Sara Gross, outplayed Auckland in the second half but could not close the difference.
Sean Horan, NZ coach, will name his 20-player roster soon before the commencement of the 2015 series, February 7 and 8 in Sao Paulo.
Pool play will include the Black Ferns, France, Japan and the USA Eagles.