Classy Black Ferns too good for Wallaroos

Renee Wickliffe 1582054718

The eight tries to two victory was not perfect, but there was plenty to show that they will be even better next weekend in the second Test. They are now 18-0 over the Wallaroos dating back to 1994.


To the fore were two-try No 8 Charmaine McMenamin, wings Renee Wickliffe and Ayesha Leti-I’iga, lock Eloise Blackwell, prop Aleisha-Pearl Nelson, hooker Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate and lead by example captain Les Elder.

Australian talked a good game beforehand and brought physicality at various times, but missed 19 first half tackles alone and had a misfiring lineout. The inexperienced left wing Lori Cramer was, however, full of running and deserved her double.

The Black Ferns led by 22-0 at the halftime break, kicking things off with a try to McMenamin off a lineout drive. Her bust led to the second try, to Wickliffe, in the corner. There were three slick passes off second phase, though coach Glenn Moore was not satisfied with some of the overall passing and alignment and delivered that message at the break. It was Wickliffe’s 21st try in 40 Tests.

She returned the favour to her No 8 with a superb break straight up the middle of the park to set in train the movement that led to McMenamin’s second try.

When first five Ruahei Demant scored a brilliant solo try, exposing some weak Wallaroos defence, it was 22-0 and the contest seemed as a good as over just before oranges,

The Wallaroos tried valiantly to stay in the fight, scoring twice through Cramer, the first an opportunist 80m effort.

Black Ferns fullback Selica Winiata finished after a crosskick from Demant found Leti-I’iga.

At 30-10 with 11 minutes to play, the Wallaroos harboured hopes of substantially closing the gap, but the visitors closed with three fine tries.

Elder, who was industrious and effective all day, latched onto an intercept and ran 40m for the score. Leti-I’iga finally found some reward for her try, and replacement loose forward Joanah Ngan-Woo plunged over from a pick and go to put an exclamation mark on this Black Ferns’ performance.

There was time later in the game for the Black Ferns to hand debuts to replacements, centre Kilisitina Moata’ane and prop Olivia Ward-Duin.

“We asked a lot of the team after the Super Series. We played clinically at the start, which helped open things up at the end,” said Elder.

Both sides will clash again next Saturday at Auckland’s Eden Park before the All Blacks and Wallabies Bledisloe II. Kickoff is at 5pm.

Black Ferns 47 (Charmaine McMenamin 2, Renee Wickliffe, Ruahei Demant, Selica Winiata, Les Elder, Ayesha Leti-I’iga, Joanah Ngan-Woo tries; Kendra Cocksedge con, pen, Demant con) Australia 10 (Lori Cramer 2 tries) HT: 22-0 Black Ferns

Renee Wickliffe 1582054718


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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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