We are a different team to last year - Demant

GettyImages 1433224611

Captain and first five-eighths Ruahei Demant said she couldn't compare the Black Ferns, who were twice beaten by France last year, with the side that has competed in the Cup.

"So much has changed. We are a different team, attack and defensive philosophies are completely different."

But she said they knew France was a quality side who defended with heart.

"The game plan that we have designed to combat them this weekend will be very exciting brand of rugby to watch. Every game is do-or-die so if we don't get this week right then there is no next week."

Demant said there was no comparison between the side that started its build-up to the Cup, to the team preparing for a semifinal.

The skills work at their Tuesday training session was probably the best of the tournament.

"That's exactly what you want this week," she said.

Loose forward Kennedy Simon's return as co-captain last week had been helpful, especially for her ability to speak to the referees about forward issues. She was also a player who led through her actions and, especially, her shoulders.

"To have her physical presence on the field uplifts the team. She doesn't have to say much, she just does what she does."

Lock Chelsea Bremner said the side was excited about reaching the semifinals and returning to Eden Park.

They had prepared to cope with the faster style of game France liked to play and believed they had the capability of matching them so long as they could execute their game plan.

Bremner felt the side had developed in their ability to absorb pressure and were more used to playing in front of bigger crowds.

Against France, they need to harness their physicality in the forwards and apply the all-important finishing touches when creating opportunities.

While going into the game with four consecutive losses against France, they were looking to the positive that they were fielding a new team against them with a new coaching group.

"We're not looking back to last year, we're looking forward."


View all