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Watch: Black Ferns winger stuns Wallaroos with ‘brilliant’ solo effort

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Black Ferns winger Mererangi Paul has stunned the vibrant crowd at Redcliffe’s Kayo Stadium with an incredible solo effort against the Wallaroos on Thursday evening.

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Playing in the opening match of both their Pacific Four and O’Reilly Cup campaigns, the Black Ferns dominated possession during the first half, and this began to show on the scoreboard.

Leading 21-nil, the Kiwis were in control – and Paul extended their advantage late in the first term with a “brilliant” try down the right edge.

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When Paul received the ball from fullback Renee Holmes, the winger appeared to be mere millimetres from the sideline.

But that wasn’t going to stop the 24-year-old.

Paul chipped the ball over Wallaroos playmaker Carys Dallinger and into the in-goal. But the speedster didn’t give up on the play, even when it looked as if Australian fullback Faitala Moleka had it covered.

But – and if you’ve played rugby you’d know just how much of an annoyance this can be as a defender – the bounce of the rugby ball had other ideas.

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Paul was rewarded for her relentlessness in pursuit of the ball. The No. 14 dove in desperation and just managed to ground it.

Commentator Andrew Swain described the passage of play as “quite brilliant” from the Black Ferns.

That was the final score of the half, with the New Zealanders taking a commanding 26-nil lead into the sheds at half-time.

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Earlier in the match, tighthead prop Tanya Kalounivale opened the scoring after a brilliant set-piece move off a lineout. Kalounivale wrapped around the maul and found some space inside the 5-metre channel out wide.

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Wallaroos winger Ivania Wong was caught flatfooted, and another two Australian players couldn’t stop the front rower from scoring the opener.

The visitors extended their lead through Sylvia Brunt later in the half, and the inside centre crossed for her second shortly after.

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