The Wallaroos showed progress on Wednesday but it wasn’t enough to fell the Black Ferns, defeated 29-3.
It was a far cry from a record 67-3 loss at Eden Park last Saturday but in just their second Test, they ultimately fell short..
The Wallaroos were on the back foot just two minutes in, when winger Cobie-Jane Morgan was sent to the bin for swearing in just the second minute, with the Black Ferns already deep in their attacking territory.
It took three minutes for New Zealand to capitalise, with Black Ferns flanker Sarah Goss going over off the set piece.
Ash Hewson’s ambitious shot at goal in the eighth minute paid off, with the Wallaroos skipper narrowing the margin to four points.
Another successful lineout for the Black Ferns gave them their second try of the afternoon, with loosehead Toka Natua going over.
It took 22 minutes for the Wallaroos to crack the new Zealand 22 for the first time in the match, as they tried to halt the momentum.
Sarah Riordan made the most of her switch back to inside centre, influential with her running lines and a potent attacking weapon.
Australia’s backrow was effective as the first half went on and the Wallaroos worked their way into the ascendancy, but couldn’t convert that into points.
The Blacks Ferns weren’t within centimetres of scoring again, with Kendra Cocksedge losing the ball over the line.
New Zealand winger Honey Hireme added five points in the 36th minute, though, leaving Australia with little reward for their patch of opportunity.
Defensive desperation helped the Wallaroos stay in the contest, with Morgan redeeming herself after a shaky start, while Hewson was also pivotal in that area.
Australia came out firing in the second half, putting themselves in with an attacking chance early one but unable to cross.
Black Ferns captain Fiao’o Fa’amausili was sent off in the 54th minute, handing Australia their best chance of scoring.
A 20-minute deadlock was played mainly in the Wallaroos’ attacking territory, but the Wallaroos couldn’t crack the Black Ferns defence in the arm wrestle.
New Zealand veteran Portia Woodman made the margin 21 points in the 62nd minute, with Australia’s pain compounded by an injury to lock Alisha Hewett.
A final try to fullback Selica Winiata sealed the result for New Zealand.
The Wallaroos return to Australia after this Test, while New Zealand travels to Europe for an end of year tour.
NEW ZEALAND 29
(Tries: Goss, Natua, Hireme, Woodman, Winiata Cons: Cocksedge)
(Pens: Hewson )