New Zealand tops Canada in dying seconds at Kitakyushu 7s Cup final

Michaela Blyde's try in the dying seconds lifted New Zealand to a 17-14 win over Canada at the Kitakyushu 7s Cup final in Japan on Sunday.

The Black Ferns have now won three World Series tournaments this season.

Canada opened the scoring with a try from Hannah Darling and a conversion by Ghislaine Landry to claim an early 7-0 advantage.

However, Niall Williams recovered a drop and ran in for a try to help pull New Zealand even at 7-7 heading into halftime. 

Canada was able to pull in front again on a try by Jen Kish and a conversion by Landry to make it 14-7.

Portia Woodman then ran the length of the field for a try, but a missed conversion still had the Black Ferns trailing by two points. 

The Canadian side wasn't able to preserve the narrow lead as Blyde's try was the difference in the match. 

Woodman, who produced the highlight-reel score, was awarded Player of the Final.

New Zealand captain Sarah Goss was pleased with her team's performance. 

"We were obviously down until that last play and for [Blyde] to score in the corner, she has been playing really well all season," said Goss.

"I'm just really happy for the girls."

The Canadian women had won their five previous matches at the tournament, blanking Russia 41-0 and Australia 33-0 earlier Sunday — Canada's largest margin of victory ever over both countries.

"The whole team is really proud of how they played the tournament but gutted we didn't win the final," said Canadian coach John Tait. "Full credit to New Zealand, they are a team with great composure and made us pay for the few mistakes we made."

Tait's team had been hoping to add the Japan title to the one won by the Canadian men in Singapore last weekend.

Next stop in Canada

The HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series will resume May 27-28 with a stop in Langford, B.C.

Canada stands third in the overall standings, behind Series leader New Zealand and Australia.

Tait's team finished sixth in Dubai, won in Sydney and was third in Las Vegas.

Canada's record in World Series finals fell to 3-5 with three of those losses to New Zealand, which advanced to the inaugural Japan tournament final with a 21-0 win over Fiji.

Earlier in the day, Canada took it to Australia with a five-try performance against the Olympic champion. Julia Greenshields scored three tries while Breanne Nicholas and Britt Benn added singles.

The win over Australia marked Canada's 100th victory in World Series play.