Rawata runs rampant in Black Ferns trial

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In the opening two minutes Subritzky-Nafatali stamped her mark on proceedings when she cross-kicked for wing Renee Wickliffe who secured close to the line and supplied fullback Hazel Tubic for the first try. 


Conditions at Navigation Homes Stadium in Pukekohe were greasy with rain increasing in intensity throughout. This suited the boot of Subritzky-Nafatali who, with a booming punt, pinned Ngalingali deep in their half. Grace Steinmetz missed touch and following a penalty, hooker Georgia Ponsonby drove over from a lineout drive.


Ngalingali enjoyed their best passage of the match between the 10th and 25th minutes. They were able to retain possession and threatened the Rawata defence. Wing Cheyelle Robins-Reti went close to scoring, regathering her own chip and chase. Loose forwards Charmaine McMenamin and Tafito Lafaele carried strongly and wing Kelsey Teneti pulled off a try saving stop on Carla Hohepa. 


A 50/22 kick by Subritzky-Nafatali swung momentum back towards Rawata, whose third try was a beauty. It was sparked by a storming Teneti run before six pairs of hands, Subritzky-Nafatali included, shared the ball and put lock Elosie Blackwell clear. Blackwell had won a crucial turnover in the build-up to the first try of the match. Centre Amy du Plessis delivered the last pass.



Rawata lock Joanah Ngan-Woo bullied her opposites and she had the last say of the first half when she twisted over in a tackle after the maul had splintered into a different direction. 


There was only one direction Ngalingali was headed in the second half and that was retreat. Their scrum was mangled and their lineouts muddled as Rawata’s low numbers were rewarded for their crushing industry.


Reserve flanker Pia Tapsell struck first after the interval. Tighthead Tanya Kalounivale barged through traffic to cap her fine night and then the robust Awhina Tangen-Wainohu scored two tries over the course of a metre, the misery of Ngalingali compounded when Robins-Reti was yellow carded for a deliberate knock down. 


Rawata didn’t lose any momentum with the introduction of substitutes. Young halfback Maia Joseph was sprightly and cleared efficiently. Flanker Victoria Edmonds was busy and the scrum. Sevens player Shakira Baker, a late replacement for Ruby Tui, scored a try.


Hazel Tubic had an outstanding night with the boot, kicking seven consecutive conversions as she played with control and flair. No 8 Liana Mikaele-Tu’u enhanced her growing reputation.


Ngalingali hooker Luka Connor tackled with aggression. From the bench, second five-eighth Monica Tagoai added some spark. Ngalingali didn’t quit, lock Alana Bremner scoring a try with the last thrust of the game.


Rawata 59 (Hazel Tubic, Georgia Ponsonby, Elosie Blackwell, Joanah Ngan-Woo, Pia Tapsell, Tanya Kalounivale, Awhina Tangen-Wainohu 2, Shakira Baker tries; Tubic 7 con) Ngalingali 5 (Alana Bremner try)



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