NZ women lift sevens title, Aussie Levi equals record
New Zealand women have clinched the rugby sevens world series crown at the France Sevens, with closest rivals Australia forced to settle for the minor honours.
The Australians registered the biggest win of the day when they pummelled Brazil 52-0, with Maddison Levi also equalling the record for most tries scored in a season.
Levi's three tries against Brazil and brace against Ireland in the 33-12 win left her on 52 tries for the season, along with New Zealand's Portia Woodman-Wickliffe.
But the 21-year-old, who also plays for Gold Coast in the AFL women's competition, is set to make the record her own this weekend with Australia leading Pool B ahead of Ireland, France and Brazil.
But the day belonged to the Kiwis, who put 50 points on Poland and 31 on the United States in their pool to secure a quarter-final spot and win the series with two days to spare.
The wins took New Zealand out of reach in the standings of Australia, the defending series champion.
The New Zealanders have taken seven of the 10 women's series and won the last five legs this season. The only leg they didn't win was the first, to Australia in the Dubai final.
On the men's side, New Zealand can secure the title by reaching the final. New Zealand looked ready by accounting for Canada and Kenya in pool play.
Australia, Great Britain, Argentina and France also stamped their mark with two wins from their opening matches.
With qualification for next year's Paris Olympics at the back of their minds, the Australians thumped Japan 49-5 with Dietrich Roache, Henry Paterson and Matthew Gonzalez all grabbing braces.
They then had a much sterner challenge against Ireland but came through with a 12-5 win, thanks to tries from Paterson and Nick Malouf, to top Pool D.
France thrashed South Africa 31-7 and edged out the United States 19-14 to lead Pool C while Argentina and Britain qualified for the quarter-finals after beating Spain and Germany.
Argentina just scraped home though. Spain led 19-0 before Marcos Moneta started the comeback with a try in first-half added time, and scored the last try with less than a minute to go after a counter-ruck in their own half. Santiago Vera Feld kicked the match-winning conversion.