Black Ferns bounce back in ruthless style against Australia

Katelyn Vahaakolo of New Zealand celebrates her stunning try
for New Zealand against the Walloroos in the Pacific Four Series and Laurie O’Reily Cup match at North Harbour Stadium.

It was an efficient and ruthless reply from the Black Ferns today against Australia, following their historic loss to Canada.

New Zealand almost racked up a half century in a scintillating first-half, before running away with the match 67-19.

Winger Mererangi Paul scored a hat-trick in the rout with skipper Kennedy Simon bagging a brace.

Simon told Sky Sport they wanted a statement performance and got it.

“Few hairy moments but all a part of the game, we just need to harness this and make sure we keep building,

She said they kept it simple, were able to produce phases and turn that into points.

“If keep doing the groundwork and hopefully the results will follow.”

Australian captain Michaela Leonard admitted her side has a long way to go.

“A tough day, not the campaign we wanted, we have shown how positives we can be when we execute well, but it was the little areas that let us down.”

The Ferns were on the board within five minutes of the kick-off as Kaipo Olsen-Baker powered over off the back of a scrum.

The Aussies struck back quickly through first-five Arabella Mckenzie who glided through a gap and streaked away before converting her own try to lock things back up.

However, it was as good as it got for this visitors in the first-half as the flood gates then opened.

Vahaakolo is in under the sticks.

Midfielder Sylvia Brunt kicked off the scoring blitz, busting through the line courtesy of a dominant Ferns’ scrum from close range.

Paul was over next as Renee Holmes sent a deft kick ahead for her winger to pounce on.

She bagged a second just moments later, cruising past the last defender as the Ferns’ backs ran riot.

Just as the Wallaroos were looking to get back in the contest, Iritana Hohaia made a half break and got an offload away to Mikaele-Tu’u who dashed 30 metres with no-one in front.

The points kept coming, hooker Georgia Ponsonby finishing off some more slick play.

Katelyn Vaha’akolo capped the half with an absolute stunner.

With room to move on the left flank but 75 metres to the line, Vaha’akolo showed her incredible gas to skin her opposite before nailing a perfect chip and regather to saunter around under the posts and give her side a commanding 45-7 halftime advantage.

It took just three minutes of the second for the Ferns to pick up where they left off in the first and post fifty, prop Chryss Viliko rumbling over for a debut try after Ponsonby again went close.

Following confirmation from upstairs, Paul picked up her hat-trick in the right hand corner, deploying some serious strength to get it on the grass.

Maya Stewart pulled one back for the Australians but a quick tap from Hohiah then sent skipper Kennedy Simon over with a nice dummy and step.

McKenzie and the Wallaroos kept fighting, the first five grassing it by a finger tip for her second and her side’s third.

Following a slight lull in scoring, Simon capped the dominant performance with her second, again showing brute force and determination to get over.


New Zealand 67 (Paul 3, Simon 2, Brunt, Olsen-Baker, Ponsonby, Mikaele-Tu’u, Vaha’akolo, Viliko, tries, Holmes 6 cons)

Australia 19 (McKenzie 2, Stewart, tries, McKenzie, 2 cons)

Liana Mikaele-Tu'u of New Zealand dives in to score a try.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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