Black Ferns run rampant in Redcliffe

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While Bunting’s charges, who included six debutantes, and just six starters from the Rugby World Cup final over seven months ago, ran in eight tries, they will be most pleased about keeping a clean defensive sheet.

The Black Ferns did make an uncertain start, their accuracy not matching their ambition, and they made several errors in the face of some stiff early Wallaroo defence.

When they did get their continuity game going, they proved hard to contain. Tighthead prop Tanya Kalounivale, who anchored a solid scrum, scored the first points off a slick lineout move, co-captain and flanker Kennedy Simon laying on the last pass. The Wallaroos defence did not, it must be said, show much interest in coming off the line to contain the Black Ferns No 3 on the charge.

Second five Sylvia Brunt, still just 19, had her best outing as a Black Fern, dangerous with the ball and bruising on the tackle. She scored a brace with her step, guile and power finish.

Right wing Mererangi Paul, who impressed on debut, scored tries either side of halftime, the first a superb solo effort from a chip and chase after a tremendous team build-up, fullback Renée Holmes giving the last pass on both occasions.


While No 8 Liana Mikaele-Tu’u had a try ruled out, the Bremner sisters got in on the act, both crossing the line in a rare occurrence for two sisters in a Test match. Blindside flanker Alana Bremner, who had an especially prominent match, burst 25m for her score on a good angle.

There was time for a last minute try to new cap, halfback Iritana Hohaia, well created by centre Amy du Plessis.

All the Black Ferns acquitted themselves well, but standouts included the Bremners, Brunt, Holmes, Simon, industrious lock Maia Roos and captain Ruahei Demant, whose trademark offloading game was again to the fore. She outpointed her opposite Kiwi Carys Dallinger who was in her second Test for the Wallaroos.

Off the bench, the front-rowers Amy Rule, Luka Connor and Krystal Murray offered full impact.

Rosie Kelly, Tenika Willison, Kate Henwood and Katelyn Vaha’akolo also made their debuts for the Black Ferns in this decisive display.

Australia, on the back foot due to the Black Ferns’ aggressive defence and breakdown work, offered little on attack.

The Pacific Four series now moves to Ottawa, Canada, next weekend, the Black Ferns facing the hosts on Sunday July 9 (NZT).

Black Ferns 50 (Sylvia Brunt 2, Mererangi Paul 2, Tanya Kalounivale, Chelsea Bremner, Alana Bremner, Iritana Hohaia tries; Renée Holmes 4 con, Tenika Willison con) Australia 0 HT: 26-0 Black Ferns


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