Black Ferns looking to level up against Wales

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Flanker Sarah Hirini said with the first game and its pressure to start the tournament well behind them they could narrow their focus more. Their preparation for their second week had been about getting into their work and developing their core roles.


She said during the first half against Australia, a couple of mistakes had kept them on defence and caused them to go backwards.


"It's pretty easy to look at yourself and think 'What do I need to do better to make sure the team's better?"


Hirini said they had talked as a group about the pressures of a World Cup, and as a result of their experience in pinnacle events she and others were helping the people around them.


"But for them to have that experience at Eden Park is going to be the best thing for them. We next go to Waitakere [Stadium] which is sold out, but the best thing we can do is enjoy it but then play to the best of our ability then the fans will keep coming back."


Playing at Eden Park was one of the best things she had done in her career. Being part of the haka and also having the crowd cheering on the haka was a new experience. But she admitted it had made her a little nervous because they didn't want to make a mistake before a Test match.


Assistant coach Wesley Clarke said reviewing the Australia game revealed they needed to tidy up their set-piece, line speed and aggression in defence.

"In defence it's hard to go up in a line if you are not sure where everyone else is so we have to tidy up on a few things," he said.


Clarke said Wales had performed as anticipated in their opening game against Scotland, but he felt they would also have been disappointed with their set piece and would have been working on it to come out firing.


"Like Smithy [coach Wayne Smith] said, teams put a bit extra in there when it is a World Cup, particularly against us, so we are expecting a bit of fire and brimstone as well."


The way Australia attacked New Zealand from the outset of their game was the best thing for the side.


"We got exposed in a couple of areas so it's great that we see that now but we still came away with four or five points so it was the perfect start."


Clark said they needed to achieve a policy in their selection for pool games which balanced the need for cohesion with achieving clarity should they need to have players slot into the side in the case of injury later in the tournament.


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