Wallaroos are a much improved rival: Black Ferns coach

Womens International
by Sarah Friend

They may not have beaten an classy Black Ferns outfit but Australia showed vast improvement, according to New Zealand coach Glenn Moore.

Moore has been keeping a close eye on the new look Aussie outfit and the Wallaroos confirmed his belief that the Super W competition has strengthened Australian womens rugby.

“I think there’s a massive improvement and I expected that," Moore said.

"I spent a bit of time over in Australia myself up until recent times and managed to watch some of the Super W games and the progress that they’ve made through that competition was apparent.

"To me they were going to be far better than what we’ve seen them before.

"In all honesty I thought a few of their games at the World Cup last year, I thought they we’re actually quite unlucky not to get some better outcomes.

"I think their conditioning is better for a start and I think they’ve got a lot more dynamic with their game in terms of how they use the ball instead of just one-off runners.

"They’ve got more shape that they’re trying to use and that was apparent in some of the Super W competition.”

Wallaroos coach Dwayne Nestor was pleased by the sides performance, and praised his nine debutants.

“Em was good, Mahalia out the back was really good, and you know we picked Mahalia at fifteen because she’s an attacking player and she showed what she can do and strong," Nestor said.

"Georgia O’Neill ... warmed into the game, so it’s good signs for some of those players.”

But Nestor knows New Zealand's performance wasn’t their best and the Aussie will have to pick up their game in the second Test in Auckland next week.

“I would suggest they would believe they can be a lot better because they’re a quality side," Nestor said.

"Their debutants showed that their depth is good, not really surprised but I know they’ll be coming harder next week.

"We go through the footage and we go through the good stuff and pick them out, but we also pick out the things that change like out discipline.

"Our discipline ... that’s an easy fix and an attitude thing.

"There’s things in that game that we can fit quite easily and that’s what makes it positive.”