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Ruby Tui insists Black Ferns’ shock loss to Canada was ‘really good timing’

By Finn Morton
Paige Farries of Canada celebrates with teammates after scoring a try, which was later disallowed during the 2024 Pacific Four Series match between New Zealand Black Ferns and Canada at Apollo Projects Stadium on May 19, 2024 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Allison - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Winger Ruby Tui can see positives in New Zealand’s shock 22-19 loss to Canada as the reigning Rugby World Cup champions look to “smooth out these little issues” before next year’s title defence in England.


For the first time ever, Canada defeated the Black Ferns on a now-famous rugby night in Christchurch. The Canadians also etched their names into the history books by claiming the World Rugby Pacific Four Series title.

Ill discipline and poor execution certainly cost the Black Ferns, but that can’t take away from Canada’s deserved victory in front of thousands of New Zealand supporters at the home of defending Super Rugby Pacific winners the Crusaders.

Yellow cards to inside centre Sylvia Brunt and replacement prop Aldora Itunu proved to be fairly big moments in the context of the thriller. Canada kicked the ball into touch and burst into a frenzy shortly after Itunu was sent to the sin bin.

The Black Ferns will be eager to bounce back when they take on Australia’s Wallaroos on Saturday afternoon at North Harbour Stadium. They’ve had some “honest conversations” as a playing group and they’ll be desperate to make amends of sorts.

“It’s disappointing, but trust me, we are our harshest critics on ourselves,” Ruby Tui said at a press conference. “We had some pretty honest conversations last night and over the weekend.

“I think it is really good timing to smooth out these little issues out and take these little gifts,” she added.


“If we were a month out (from the World Cup), I think there would be a bit more yelling.”

The Black Ferns’ upcoming opponents from across the ditch are looking forward to playing a “wounded” Kiwi outfit this weekend, with the Australians seeing an opportunity to deepen the New Zealanders’ “hurt.”


Last 5 Meetings

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First try wins
Home team wins

Australia have started their new era under coach Jo Yapp with a 0-2 start in the Pacific Four Series. The Wallaroos need to beat the Black Ferns with a bonus point to keep their hopes of playing in WXV1 alive.

Following a heavy loss to Canada in Sydney, the Aussies couldn’t hold onto their half-time lead against the United States in Melbourne which saw them fall to a second consecutive defeat. But there’s no better opponent to bounce back against than New Zealand.

“It was definitely disappointing for us as a group but I think everyone’s really keen to turn things around,” Australia’s Maya Stewart told reporters on Tuesday.


“Canada showed last week that New Zealand can be beaten so we’re definitely up for the challenge.

“Every game is a Test match and it’s not just a one-sided game. We’re definitely competitive and Canada showed that last week.

“(New Zealand) are going to be wounded, they’re going to be hurt and I think it’d be great for us to just climb on the back of that.”

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