Black Ferns beat Wallaroos

    21 Oct 2007    

br />The Wallaroos again proved competitive but the Black Ferns were too classy and too physical for the Australians, scoring five well-executed tries, with Otago winger Carla Hohepa scoring a hat-trick and Auckland winger Victoria Blackledge and Auckland number eight Linda Itunu also crossing the line.

The Ferns played a well-structured game in cool conditions in the Capital in front of a lively crowd of 1200 people.  The win follows their 21-10 win over the Wallaroos in Wanganui on Tuesday.

“We wanted to step up several notches from our Wanganui game.  Our aim was to create as many opportunities as we could and I think we made reasonably good use of the ball,” Black Ferns Coach Dale Atkins said.

The Black Ferns’ victory was built on a solid platform from the forwards and physical presence in the first quarter, which gave first-five eighth Anna Richards the freedom to unleash the talented backline.

Hohepa scored her first try six minutes into the match going over in the corner after a steady build-up from the Ferns inside the Wallarroos’ 22, with halfback Emma Jensen kicking a marvellous conversion from the sideline.  Four minutes later Blackledge scored in the other corner. Hohepa scored her second try on the 19 minute mark and the Ferns had a commanding 17 –0 lead.   Australia attacked in the second quarter and their efforts were rewarded when fullback Tobie McGann took a short pass from a ruck on the Ferns’ line and crashed over in the tackle of two defenders.  The Black Ferns went to the break leading 17 – 5.

The Wallaroos had more urgency to their play in the second half, with number eight Tasileta Bethell and flanker Alex Hargreaves proving a handful for the Ferns. However, New Zealand again had too much speed and impact, with Hohepa crossing for her third try 15 minutes into the second half.

Australian hooker Silei Poluleuligiga scored a well-deserved try but the Ferns had the final say, with hard-working number eight Itunu scoring a try with five minutes to go and Claire Richardson adding the final conversion.

New Zealand 29. Tries: Carla Hohepa (3), Victoria Blackledge, Linda Itunu.  Conversions: Emma Jensen, Claire Richardson.
Australia 12. Tries: Tobie McGann, Silei Poluleuligiga.  Conversion: Alana Thomas.
Halftime: 17 – 5.