Menu allblacks.com

News

Preview: Black Ferns v Canada

Getty Images

allblacks.com     10 Jun 2014     Getty Images

The final two tests of the International Women's Rugby Series will give both sides valuable opportunities to test new combinations and for players to secure their spots for August's Women's Rugby World Cup.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 14:30pm (NZT) at Tauranga Domain

Head to head: Played 8, New Zealand 8, Canada 0

Last time: New Zealand 66-7 Canada at 2006 Women's Rugby World Cup


SQUAD UPDATE: New Zealand have made a raft of changes, giving players ample opportunity to impress Head Coach Brian Evans. Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali gets her first start of the campaign at first five-eighths, while Linda Itunu gets the nod at No.8 over stalwart Casey Robertson.

The Canadians have promoted Emily Belchos to the starting lineup having made her debut on Friday. Belchos will start at first five-eighths and will have a young backline at her disposal, including Elissa Alarie at fullback and the exciting Magali Harvey on the right wing.

FORM: The Black Ferns are unbeaten in the series so far following impressive 38-3 and 90-12 wins over Australia and Samoa respectively. Two sluggish starts from the New Zealanders' forward packs allowed the side's opponents to settle into the match. When they did warm into their work, the forwards were dominant in all areas. The key, though, has been their fitness. In the competition to date, the Black Ferns have scored 91 second half points in two matches.

But the Black Ferns will face a different beast in Canada, who have also had an unbeaten start to the series following a 22-0 win over Australia. The first international between the two sides was somewhat of an anti-climax in the end, but Canada illustrated the value of international match play as they cruised in the second half to secure the victory.

KEY PLAYERS: Halfback Kendra Cocksedge has been praised by her counterparts as being on top of her game. Her crisp delivery will be key to unleashing the likes of Subritzky-Nafatali, vice captain Amiria Rule and impressive centre Huriana Manuel the space needed to continue their devastating form in the series. Speedy fullback Selica Winiata, fresh from her five tries against Samoa, will also be one to watch.

Belchos will be under some pressure, but one player who has already shown her ability is Harvey. A substitue in the 22-0 win over Australia, Harvey's open kicking game is solid and will no doubt take plenty of pressure off the relatively green first five-eighths. Flanker Jacey Murphy was also particularly strong in the team's opening game and thoroughly deserved her side's first try.

New Zealand: 1. Kathleen Wilton, 2. Fiao'o Fa'amausili (capt), 3. Stephanie Te Ohaere-Fox, 4. Eloise Blackwell, 5. Rawinia Everitt, 6. Aroha Savage, 7. Justine Lavea, 8. Linda Itunu, 9. Kendra Cocksedge, 10. Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali, 11. Shakira Baker, 12. Amiria Rule, 13. Huriana Manuel, 14. Halie Tiplady-Hurring, 15. Selica Winiata.

Substitutes: 16. Ruth McKay, 17. Casey Robertson, 18. Aleisha Nelson, 19. Jackie Patea, 20. Sanita Levave, 21. Emma Jensen, 22. Kelly Brazier, 23. Chelsea Alley.

Canada: 1. Marie-Pier Pinault-Reid, 2. Kim Donaldson, 3. Sammy Crandell, 4. Latoya Blackwood, 5. Maria Samson, 6. Jacey Murphy, 7. Karen Paquin, 8. Kelly Russell (captain), 9. Stephanie Bernier, 10. Emily Belchos, 11. Jessica Dovanne, 12. Andrea Burk, 13. Mandy Marchak, 14. Magali Harvey, 15. Elissa Alarie.

Substitutes: 16. Olivia Demerchant, 17. Laura Russell, 18. Mary-Jane Kirby, 19. Tyson Beukeboom, 20. Kayla Mack, 21. Julia Sugawara, 22. Amanda Thornborough, 23. Brittany Benn.