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Black Ferns hold off New Zealand Barbarians while Wellington and Tasman secure crucial Mitre 10 Cup wins

By Online Editors
The teams walk onto the pitch for the rugby match between the New Zealand Black Ferns and the New Zealand Barbarians at The Trusts Arena on November 14, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

When the Black Ferns met a New Zealand Barbarians side in Auckland on Saturday, there were high expectations for the national side’s performance.


For the most part, they lived up to those in a 34-15 win. However, there was plenty to be impressed by from the Barbarians, playing their first match in 15 months, despite what ended up being a rather lopsided scoreline.

The Black Ferns went up big early on with four tries in the opening half hour, including a double to Langi Veainu on debut. Leading 20-0, the stage was set for the national side to go on with the job and post an impressive total.

Instead, the Barbarians struck through a penalty goal and a try just before halftime to close the gap to 12 heading into the second half.

Within five minutes of the restart, the Barbarians closed the gap to just five points after Lyric Faleafaga crossed the stripe, with her try converted by Patricia Maliepo.

However, the chance of an historic upset was pushed further away again just moments later when Cheyelle Robins-Reti scored, and a sixth Black Ferns try to Grace Brooker sealed the win. The two teams clash again in Nelson next Saturday.

“I’m happy we came away with the result. It was tough to assemble and only have five days together, so I’m happy we got the win but lot of lessons to take in to next week,” Black Ferns captain Eloise Blackwell said after the match.

In the Mitre 10 Cup, Wellington have staved off relegation with a strong 31-5 win over Manawatu, despite an extremely slow start.

In an incredibly tight Premiership competition, Wellington’s win not only ensures they won’t be relegated, but now gives them a faint hope of making an appearance in the playoffs.

For that to happen, Wellington needs North Harbour to beat Bay of Plenty without a bonus point in Tauranga, and Canterbury to not score a bonus-point win over Auckland in Christchurch.

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All Blacks captain Sam Cane and coach Ian Foster react to the All Blacks’ 15-25 loss to Argentina in Sydney.

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All Blacks captain Sam Cane and coach Ian Foster react to the All Blacks’ 15-25 loss to Argentina in Sydney.

Elsewhere, Waikato’s playoff hopes took a big hit in a surprise 28-17 loss to Northland. Waikato had spent time at the top of the Premiership this season but now are sweating the same results as Wellington as they sit in fourth place heading into the final day of the round-robin.

In the final game of the day, Tasman secured a home Premiership semifinal with a 26-20 win over Otago.


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Morne 9 hours ago
Thanks but no thanks, the All Blacks do not need to copy the Boks

Some further observations: Most Rugby lovers I know agree that the AB’s have been the gold standard for as long as anyone can remember - very few people disagree. The odd time that any other team has some sort of ascendency - there are always those (albeit the minority) NZ supporters that need to remind us of the AB’s glorious gold standard that anyone winning them is only down to a mixture of pure luck or some or other sinister reason or bias from match officials (or indeed the Universe). For reasons mentioned above, any other team with some ascendency over the AB’s (even if it is the 1st time in 100 years) may not receive a pat on the back and a well-done - as they only did so out of pure luck. In my opinion, if the Boks were in the same realm as the AB’s SF opponents - they would have been smashed also - whether with 14 or 13 or 12 players. But remember they were just “lucky”. As a Bok supporter, I will say this team has done our proud - despite losing some games along the way. Like the AB’s, the games the boks lose are 9/10 times one score games - this is a long way from hidings like 57 - 0…And in that we must be proud. Most of these type of articles - especially those focusing on the RWC final rather conveniently leave out any mention of Pieter Steph du Toit, or even Eben Etzebeth who won all their collusions all day long. So to those very very few bad loser AB supporters out there (definitely the minority) - I’ll say what you want to hear - the AB’s are without any doubt the best Rugby brand ever. They have consistently achieved what all other teams can only dream of. And no doubt they will scale those heights again. Now what about allowing others the odd ray of sunlight that comes our way?

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