Stacey Waaka scored two attempts while the Black Ferns fought against Japan. (FILE PHOTO)
New Zealand are one win away from breaking their own record of consecutive wins on the Women's Rugby Series of the World Series.
The Black Ferns Sevens team opened the title race in Japan in the final round with a 43-0 home win over Kitakyushu.
It was the 37th consecutive win on the world circuit since the 31-0 loss to Australia in the Sydney final in January 2018 and its 50th consecutive win over RWC Sevens, the Commonwealth Games and the Fast Four in Hamilton in January of this year.
– Black Ferns (@BlackFerns) April 19, 2019
The team paid special tribute to the victims of the Christchurch shootings, wearing warm-up shirts with the names of the 50 victims, along with the hashtag They Are Us, printed on the back.
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The Black Ferns should mark the new mark when they meet Russia in the team's second game on Saturday with their third and final game against France.
Teen debutant Dhys Faleafanga opened the scoring against Japan with their first attempt by their country in just a second minute before Stacey Waaka came on the scoreboard after a penalty shootout. Waaka got his second second turnover and Faleafanga did the same to see the NZ 24-0 at halftime.
Further attempts came in the second period for Niall Williams, the powerful Shakira Baker and Tenika Willison after the last hooter.
New Zealand won the first three events of this year's series and led the standings with 60 points, ahead of the United States with 48, and Canada and Australia tied for third with 46 points.
The Black Ferns star, Williams, All Black Sonny's sister, Bill Williams, opened what the tribute meant to her side.
– Black Ferns (@BlackFerns) April 20, 2019
"It's something very close to my heart and the heart of our whole country," Williams said.
"As a whole, we all get together and the best thing is to talk and recognize what happened and how a country can be better and move on."