The Wallabies aren’t the only team trying to break a streak at Eden Park on Saturday night.
The Wallaroos are trying to claim their first win in 14 attempts against the Black Ferns, who are considered the best team in the world, despite conceding the last World Cup. Australia hasn’t played a Test since 2014 but they got their New Zealand trip off to a good start, with a 21-19 win over the Auckland Storm. This Test is the first in a two-Test series for the Wallaroos, who take on the Black Ferns next Wednesday as well.
Australia has never beaten New Zealand in a women’s Test.
The Wallaroos will field 12 potential debutants, to New Zealand’s two.
Saturday’s Test will make up the first part of a Bledisloe double header, the first of its kind.
KEY MATCH UPS
Louise Burrows vs Pip Love (Toka Natua)
The Black Ferns have plenty of speedy backs, so the Wallaroos need to assert themselves in the pack to starve them of possession. Louise Burrows is the most experienced Wallaroo, having played in three Women’s World Cups, eyeing off a fourth in 2017. Burrows throws the lineouts as well, so her role will be critical in the match. Injuries have been a worry for the Black Ferns, with their loose head Pip Love under a cloud, which makes the scrum clash an intriguing one.Expect a brutal contest up front.
Nareta Marsters vs Portia Woodman
The battle in the midfield will be a crucial one and it’s one where Australia will need to be wary. Woodman is one of New Zealand rugby’s stalwarts and her ability to read the game is outstanding. She has starred for the Kiwi Sevens team throughout her career and will be a handful for Australia in the 15-woman game. Marsters had a strong game against Auckland earlier this week and will
WHERE WILL THE GAME WILL BE WON?
In the clutch moments. The Wallaroos have 12 possible debutants in their lineup for Saturday’s match, while New Zealand will have just two. Australia’s ability to stay calm under pressure at one of New Zealand’s most intimidating fortresses will be pivotal to their success on Saturday night. Composure has never been a problem for the Black Ferns and they’ll be hoping to use experience to their advantage.
Starting team: Louise Burrows, Ivy Kaleta*, Hana Ngaha*, Alisha Hewett, Chloe Butler, Mollie Gray, Vesinia Schaaf-Tatufa*,Palmyra, Liz Patu, Iliseva Batibasaga, Ashleigh Hewson (c), Shontelle Stowers* Hanna Sio, Nareta Marsters*, Cobie-Jane Morgan, Sarah Riordan*
Reserves: Alanna Patison*, Emily Robinson*, Danielle Meskell, Grace Hamilton*, Kirby Sefo*, Ariana Kaiwai, Katrina Barker*, Cheyenne Campbell
Starting team: Pip Love (Toka Natua), Fiao’o Fa’amausili ©, Aleisha Nelson, Eloise Blackwell, Charmaine Smith, Rawinia Everitt, Sarah Goss, Aroha Savage, Kendra Cocksedge, Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali, Renee Wickliffe, Chelsea Alley, Portia Woodman, Honey Hireme, Selica Winiata.
Reserves: Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate,Toka Natua (Aldora Itunu), Aotearoa Mata’u*, Charlene Gubb, Charmaine McMenamin, Kristina Sue*, Kelly Brazier, Janna Vaughan
Today's triple header of Rugby action starts with the Wallaroos and New Zealand at 3:05pm, the Bledisloe Cup at 5:35pm, and then Buildcorp NRC Final at 7:45pm. All live on FOXSPORTS 502 (All times ADST.