Black Ferns' character prevails in gritty win
A gritty 22-14 win from the Black Ferns was capped by another classic post match interview by Ruby Tui
The Wallaroos came out firing in Adelaide, scoring early through debutant Bienne Terita after the athletic rookie had botched a near identical opportunity only moments earlier. The Wallaroos looked to keep their momentum but were let down time and time again by their set piece, with New Zealand consistently marching them backwards in the scrum.
The Kiwis settled into their game and looked dangerous coming out of the break, but couldn’t escape the grasp of Wallaroos openside Emily Chancellor, who finished the game with five turnovers to her name.
The battle of the first fives was an epic one, Arabella McKenzie had her fingerprints all over the Aussie attack. Her distribution game was near flawless setting her outsides up and having a few runs of her own.
Ruahei Demant was solid as ever, however she wasn’t afforded to play the free-flowing, instinctual game that last week’s Test provided without the breakdown dominance and halves partner Kendra Cocksedge to get that front foot ball.
Beyond Demant, the Black Ferns attacking weapons were dangerous in their limited opportunities. Midfielder Sylvia Brunt had moments of magic, combining agile footwork and raw power for consistent post-contact meters.
Wingers Ruby Tui and Ayesha Leti-I’iga continued their hot form wth ball in hand as well as showing a mammoth work rate on defence. Leti’Iiga will however be disappointed over some knock-ons in crucial attacking opportunities.
Black Ferns co-captain Kennedy Simon left the field mid-game and could be seen post-match sporting crutches, a worrying sign six weeks out from the World Cup. Chelsea Semple also suffered a nasty concussion during a tackle that also earned her a yellow card.
Both sides will have a lot of positives to take away from the game, with debutants stepping up and amplifying internal competition for limited World Cup roster spots so close to the tournament.
The two sides will meet again at The World Cup, in a match that will cap a triple header opening day at Eden Park.
When asked if she backs her team to take home their sixth championship trophy at the tournament, Ruby Tui employed her witty humour to express how the team wouldn’t get ahead of themselves:
“You know how it goes mate, all the cliches, day by day, game of two halves, yea definitely.”
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