With a title like that it would appear that I have lost the plot, well let me explain.
Cyathea medullaris is the Latin name for the Black Fern, a plant indigenous to, you’d never guess, New Zealand.
The women’s rugby variety defeated a gutsy Wallaroos team in the second instalment of the Trans-Tasman series, with Australia losing to the reigning World Champions, New Zealand 17-45 on Saturday afternoon at Eden Park.
With the gusty Auckland wind behind them, it didn’t take long for the Black Ferns pack to assume control and following a TMO review in the third minute, NZ prop Aldora Itunu got was awarded a try to give the home side a 0-5 lead.
The Black Ferns utilised their pack to gain an early advantage, scoring a second try at the hands of Pip Love, to further extend the lead, taking the score to 0-12.
The Aussies struck back after a great step from Wallaroo’s flyhalf Trilleen Pomare off the back of a maul saw the visitors touchdown, with Australia trailing 5-12 fifteen minutes into the match.
An impressive defensive effort from the Wallaroos managed to contain New Zealand but under constant pressure they conceded penalties and eventually Black Ferns lock Eloise Blackwell crossed over in the corner to increase the lead to 5-19.
With seconds remaining in the first half, Wallaroos Captain, Liz Patu, powered her way over for a try, taking the score to 10-19 at the break.
The second half saw New Zealand continue to ask questions of the Wallaroos defence with an opening try from the Black Ferns outside centre Theresa Fitzpatrick.
Kendra Cocksedge followed with another try, taking advantage of Wallaroo Emily Robinson’s sin binning to extend the score to 10-33.
31 Test cap veteran winger Renee Wickliffe then touched down taking New Zealand’s lead to 38 – 10, and almost immediately wing, Selica Winiata crossed the whitewash taking the score line to 45 – 10.
Australia’s Hana Ngaha coming fresh off the bench had the final say, driving over in the corner, to close the gap, with Fenella Hake adding the coversion, the match finishing 17-45.
3 mins: Aldora Itunu try AUS 0–5 NZ
11 mins: Pip Love try Kendra Cocksedge con AUS 0–12 NZ
16 mins: Trilleen Pomare try AUS 5–12 NZ
21 mins: Eloise Blackwell try Kendra Cocksedge con AUS 5–19 NZ
40 mins: Liz Patu try AUS 10–19 NZ
44 mins: Theresa Fitzpatrick try Kendra Cocksedge AUS 10–26 NZ
50 mins: Emily Robinson Yellow Card
50 mins: Kendra Cocksedge try Kendra Cocksedge AUS 10–33 NZ
58 mins: Renee Wickliffe try AUS 10–38 NZ
66 mins: Selica Winiata try Kendra Cocksedge AUS 10–45 NZ
71 mins: Hana Ngaha try Fenella Hake con AUS 17–NZ 45
1. Emily Robinson, 2. Liz Patu (C), 3. Evelyn Horomia, 4. Michelle Milward, 5. Rebecca Clough, 6. Emily Chancellor, 7. Georgia O’Neill, 8. Grace Hamilton, 9. Cobie-jane Morgan, 10. Trilleen Pomare, 11. Samantha Treherne, 12. Sarah Riordan, 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. Fenella Hake, 22. Crystal Maguire, 23. Shanice Parker.
1. Pip Love, 2. Fiao’o Faamausili (C), 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/Aleisha Nelson, 19. Jackie Patea-Fereti, 20. Linda Itunu, 21. Kristina Sue, 22. Krysten Cottrell, 23. Chelsea Alley