Wallaroos no match for Black Ferns

by Sam Phillips

The Wallaroos have braved hail and a rampant Black Ferns outfit but fell 44-17 in Christchurch.

This was an improved performance from what the Australians produced against the Red Roses, particularly in the second half.

Both teams scored two tries in the second term, as the Australians forwards controlled the game with big runs and big hits on a Kiwi side that was in cruise control.

The attack was just as impressive as it was against England and the defensive work was willing, though the set piece remains a concern.

Victoria Latu starred from No. 8 with her explosive carries, fearless hooker Cheyenne Campbell was in everything and Vesinia Schaaf-Taufa was a constant presence at the breakdown.Millie Boyle and the Wallaroos were strong in the second term. Photo: Getty ImagesReserve prop Hilisha Samoa impressed with some strong carries in the second term as well.

In the backs, Fenella Hake orchestrated proceedings with poise from flyhalf and caused constant defensive headaches for the Kiwis, Kayla Sauvao continued her hot form from the England clash and Cobie-Jane Morgan scored a superb try as reward for her slippery runs.

The first half was a treacherous 40 minutes.

The Australians controlled the ball for the first eight minutes but turnover ball quickly turned into the first Black Ferns points, Portia Woodman turning on the afterburners to take advantage of an overlap and go over untouched.

The Black Ferns proved too strong for the Wallaroos. Photo: Getty ImagesThat triggered a procession of Kiwi tries, as they controlled possession, worked the ball upfield and took their pick of going over or around the visitors.

Fullback Selica Winiata scored a brace inside 20 minutes, before Fiao’o Faamausili and Toka Natua finished some fantastic team tries.

That was then followed by an athletic finish by Morgan for the first Wallaroos points - the pint sized winger contorting her body to stay inside the left hand corner and get the ball down.

The second half was largely controlled by the Australians after Woodman scored her second, as the likes of Latu and Samoa hit the gain line hard and retained possession for Hake to distribute.

But the New Zealand defence was stingy and the only other points the Aussies could manage were from quick taps five metres out from the Black Ferns line.

The first of those was some superb initiative from Campbell, who caught the Kiwis napping and wriggled her way over the line.

Then Latu got her reward for an enormous game, barging over the top of two defenders to touch down.

Australia will face Canada on Saturday in the final Test of the series.


Black Ferns 44

Tries: Woodman 2, Winiata 2, Faamausili, Natua, Cocksedge, Smith

Cons: Cocksedge 2


Wallaroos 17

Tries: Morgan, Campbell, Latu

Cons: Hake