Black Ferns defeat Hong Kong

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Christian Bonnevie     14 Aug 2017     Getty Images

Coach Glenn Moore rang the changes for the sides second game in four days and will be pleased to have some tough selection decisions to make as he looks ahead to a huge clash with Canada this week.
The commanding performance was full of skill and flair, with first-five Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali channeling her All Blacks counterpart Beauden Barrett as she landed cross-kicks on a dime for Woodman, who had a storming all round game with her quick feet far too good for anyone unlucky enough to be marking her.

The writing was on the wall early as the Black Ferns forwards repeatedly won the collisions, drawing in defenders for the backs to exploit space out wide. The result was four converted tries in the opening 15 minutes, with halfback Kendra Cocksedge back to her best directing the side around the park and slotting her goals, while also grabbing a 5-pointer herself from a big scrum.

The 28 points scored in this period came from only 35 carries, highlighting the complete dominance of their attack.

Number 8 Charmaine McMenamin might have lost the number on her back but there was no mistaking her presence as she smashed her way to the chalk early and was a general menace across the park, while fellow loosie Sarah Goss also stood out for her physical dominance on defence.

By halftime the Black Ferns had racked up the half century, with the only concern for Moore being some sloppy kick-off receptions and the odd poor lineout.

Having scored on the half time hooter, the Black Ferns scored within 30 seconds of the restart to signal a procession of points. The substitution of Subritzky-Nafatali did nothing to stem the tide as her replacement Kelly Brazier was all class in tearing Hong Kong's backline to shreds, scoring a stellar individual effort and having a hand in most of Woodman's last 5 tries. 

Particularly pleasing was the Black Ferns ability to show great variety, with a number of tries coming from kicks in behind, displaying confidence in both their vision and skill execution. The offloading in contact was also a highlight, with the tight five not to be out done as they plucked balls off their toes to keep the play moving forward.

With Canada having dispatched Hong Kong 98 - 0 in their opening match, the scene is now set for a bruising encounter that will be a real gauge of where the Black Ferns are at in this campaign.