Black Ferns retain Laurie O'Reilly Trophy in style

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Had the Black Ferns handling been more precise they might have scored significantly more, but that’s zealously demanding given it was their first Test since July.

Kennedy Simon, Sylvia Brunt and Patricia Maliepo were consistently damaging and the guile of Ruahei Demant ensured frequent holes appeared in the visitors' defense.

The Black Ferns initial try was scored within the first ten minutes. Popular prop Krystal Murray couldn’t be stopped from a pick-and-go. Murray was imperious with her carries and her offloading tormented the Wallaroos.  

Amy du Plessis doesn’t feature on the scoreboard, but her selfless distribution contributed three tries. A simple draw and pass created the first of two Katelyn Vahaakolo strikes. Following a tighthead from a scrum, a pass to the right edge eventually saw Canterbury teammate Martha Mataele nab one on debut. However, the best of du Plessis occurred when Charmaine Smith poached an errant Australian lineout throw after half an hour. Demant jabbed a grubber in behind the Wallaroos wall, snaffled by the Southlander and a swift pass saw Vahaakolo complete her double.

Australia was niggly in the second half as the Black Ferns mistakes piled up. Australian prop Bride O’Gorman was sent off in the 69th minute for head-on-head contact. That was the catalyst to get the scoreboard moving again. Lucy Jenkins entered a gap and dashed 15 meters before Mataele had her magic moment.

The Black Ferns next assignment is in Wellington on October 21 against France. It will be the first meeting against the French since the classic World Cup semi-final won 25-24 by the Black Ferns.

Black Ferns 43 (Katelyn Vahaakolo 2, Krystal Murray, Patricia Maliepo, Sylvia Brunt, Lucy Jenkins, Martha Mataele tries; Ruahei Demant 4 con) Wallaroos 3 (Carys Dallinger pen)


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