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Black Ferns set the pace

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Sportal.co.nz     21 Aug 2010     Getty Images

Playing with the wind at their backs the New Zealanders opened with three tries in the first 15 minutes.

New Zealand ran in nine tries in the game, three of them to wing Carla Hohepa while centre Kelly Brazier scored 15 points.

A break from the kick-off by centre Huriana Manuel provided Hohepa with her first try then from a five-metre scrum hooker Fiao'o Fa'amausili scored the second try.

Brazier scored her first try after getting a sweet pass from Anna Richards to score under the posts while Hohepa soon crossed for a second.

Manuel added a fifth soon after with New Zealand leading 33-0 into the second quarter.

She added another soon after and while South Africa came out firing in the second half an intercept by wing Renee Wickliffe doused the flames. Hohepa scored her third in the 55th minute while Casey Robertson completed the strong opening with the final try.

New Zealand coach Brian Evans said the side had been patchy. "I thought for the first 30 minutes that we were excellent but there's plenty to wok on.

"We'll be working on looking after the ball a bit better, we blew quite a few chances and were a bit flat at times. Even defensively, we over-committed at times at the breakdowns when we didn't need to," he said.

Hohepa paid credit to the side's forwards whose set piece work allowed the backs their chances.

"We will prepare [for Australia] the same as usual and we know that they are a step up. It's great to be out there, it's a great atmosphere," she said.

Manuel said the side had a goal to make a statement from the outset.

"We're not here to lied down, we're here to challenge for the cup and I think we put that across," she said.

South African coach Denver Wannies said: "We knew that if we allowed them ball, that they would come for us and we would have problems. We spoke long and hard at halftime about keeping our own ball and putting it to use as well as sharpening our defence.

"And we did improve in the second half but we didn't use the wind as well as we wanted to.

"It's just a pity we couldn't stand up to the challenge from the world champions but as I said once again, they are not world champions for thing."

Australia, New Zealand's next opponent opened with a 26-12 win over Wales. In other games England beat Ireland 27-0, France beat Sweden 15-9, the United States beat Kazakhstan 51-0 and Canada beat Scotland 37-10.

New Zealand and Australia meet on August 24.