The Black Ferns held out to defeat a strong Wallaroo’s outfit in the opening match of the two Test Trans-Tasman Series with Australia eventually going down 11-31.
Australia had nine debutants in a match that was played in front of a world record crowd of 28,842, the highest ever for a Women’s International.
Both sides traded blows in the opening exchanges, and it took 10 mins for the first points to be scored, with scrum half Kendra Cocksedge crossing for New Zealand’s first try to give the visitors a 7-0 lead.
Australia’s Emily Robinson registered the first points for the home side with a penalty in the 21st minute to lower the gap to 3-7.
Tries from New Zealand captain, Faio’o Faamausili and Aldora Itunu increased the lead to 3-19 at the break, despite some strong defensive efforts from the Buildcorp Wallaroos.
The second half saw New Zealand continue to ask defensive questions of the Wallaroos with two further tries to Fiao’o Faamausili, ending Australian hopes.
However, it was Australia who had the final word, Alisha Hewitt came off the bench who to finish off a try, following a dynamic run from Shanice Parker and Emily Chancellor, reducing the deficit to AUS 11–31 NZ.
“We’ll go back and look at the footage and pick out the good things as well as those things that we can fix, it all about getting into the right attitude for next week.
“I’m really positive about where we are as a side. There are changes we can easily make in order to have a much better game and we will come back a much stronger side next week”
There will be very little time for celebration of commiseration as the Wallaroo’s take on the New Zealand Black Ferns again next week, in the second instalment of the International double-header at Eden Park, Auckland.
10 mins: Kendra Cocksedge try Kendra Cocksedge con AUS 0–7 NZ
21 mins: Emily Robinson pen AUS 3–7 NZ
28 mins: Fiao’o Faamausili try AUS 3–12 NZ
32 mins: Grace Hamilton Yellow Card
42 mins: Aldora Itunu try Kendra Cocksedge con AUS 3–19 NZ
48 mins: Emily Robinson pen AUS 6–19 NZ
59 mins: Fiao’o Faamausili try AUS 3–24 NZ
68 mins: Fiao’o Faamausili try Kendra Cocksedge AUS 6–31 NZ
72 mins: Alisha Hewett try AUS 11–31 NZ
75 mins: Jackie Patea-Fereti Yellow Card
1. Emily Robinson, 2. Liz Patu, 3. Evelyn Horomia, 4. Michelle Milward, 5. Rebecca Clough, 6. Emily Chancellor, 7. Georgia O’Neill, 8. Grace Hamilton, 9. Cobie-Jane Morgan, 10. Trileen Pomare, 11. Samantha Treherne, 12. Crystal Maguire, 13 Atasi Lafai, 14. Mhicca Carter, 15 Mahalia Murphy, 16. Darryl Wickliffe, 17. Melissa Fatu, 18. Hana Ngaha, 19 Alisha Hewett, 20. Kiri Lingman, 21. Alice Tonumaivao, 22. Fenella Hake, 23. Shanice Parker
1. Phillipa Love, 2. Fiao’o Faamausili ©, 3. Aldora Itunu, 4. Eloise Blackwell, 5. Charmaine Smith, 6. Charmaine McMenamin, 7. Les Elder, 8. Aroha Savage, 9. Kendra Cocksedge (vc), 10. Ruahei Demant, 11. Alena Saili, 12. Theresa Fitzpatrick, 13. Stacey Waaka, 14. Renee Wickliffe, 15. Selica Winiata (vc), 16. Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, 17. Cristo Tofa, 18. Leilani Perese, 19. Jackie Patea-Fereti, 20. Linda Itunu, 21. Kristina Sue, 22. Krysten Cottrell, 23. Chelsea Alley (15)