Black Ferns sweep Australia

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They had already retained the silverware by virtue of their 47-10 victory last weekend in Perth, but they looked amped to perform in their sole home Test of the season. 

The five tries to one result extended their winning record against the Wallaroos to 19-0. It gave them a 5-1 Test record in 2019 after their success in the San Diego Super Series.


Working off a dominant scrum, the Black Ferns sought to bring more physicality to their work, but the Wallaroos were not backing down in that area, creating some early niggle between the packs. 

But it was Black Ferns first five Ruahei Demant who split the Wallaroos’ line with a shimmy off the left foot to open the scoring after barely three minutes.

The Wallaroos, who had far more starch in their defence than in the first Test, hit back soon afterwards when wing Mahalia Murphy scored a tremendous solo try, fending off Selica Winiata and Renee Wickliffe in the process. The visitors presented a far slicker lineout and were again up for the physical battle, but they met an equally determined home side.

No 8 Charmaine McMenamin was again in prime form, and was player of the match, carrying strongly and hitting with power on defence. She set up lock Eloise Blackwell for a try with a subtle inside ball.

But Australia hung tough in that first stanza, and a late penalty goal by Lori Cramer brought the score back to 17-8 at the break.

Black Ferns skipper Les Elder left the field with injury just before the break, and was replaced by Kennedy Simon, who did well in her fourth international.

The second spell saw the Black Ferns exert real pressure which told with three tries. Centre Carla Hohepa ran a gap out wide, while Demant set up McMenamin with a nice dart. Chelsea Alley was a handful in the No 12 jersey.

The Wallaroos lineout faltered late in the piece, meaning we saw few chances for the talented centre Alycia Lefau-Fakaosilea to show us her offloading ability.

Lock Charmaine Smith, one-fifth of an impressive Black Ferns tight five, burrowed over to score right on fulltime, thus extending the final margin to 29.

Canterbury’s Grace Brooker made a pleasing debut off the bench, running with gusto and involving herself in the action from the fullback position.

All the Black Ferns will be back in action in a fortnight when the Farah Palmer Cup provincial competition kicks off.

Black Ferns 37 (Ruahei Demant, Eloise Blackwell, Carla Hohepa, Charmaine McMenamin, Charmaine Smith tries; Kendra Cocksedge 2 con, 2 pen, Chelsea Alley con) Australia 8 (Mahalia Murphy try; Lori Cramer pen) HT: 17-8 Black Ferns


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Campbell Burnes

Campbell Burnes has written on rugby since 2000 for a wide variety of publications, both in print and online, whilst also contributing to television and radio shows. His major gigs have seen him at Rugby News magazine (2005-12), in which he covered 50 Test matches, and the New Zealand Herald (2014-17). Burnes is one of the few in rugby media to have played international rugby, having appeared for Manu Samoa in 1995 and 2000 (seven games) as a No 10. He is now the editor of Rugby News magazine and co-editor of the Rugby Almanack.


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