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Black Ferns too good for Canada

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/06/2017

The Black Ferns have won their opening women's rugby Test of the year, outmuscling Canada 28-16 in Wellington on Friday.

The New Zealanders always looked in control of the second game in the four-nation International Women's Rugby Series.

Reigning world champions England were earlier too strong for an inexperienced Australian outfit, running away to a 53-10 win.

The New Zealanders took control early, jumping out to a 7-0 lead after five minutes when skipper Fiao'o Faamausili powered over from an unstoppable lineout drive.

Canada came close soon after, but Sarah Goss pulled off a superb try-saving tackle to halt Chelsea Guthrie just metres short of the line.

Fullback Selica Winiata crossed for the Black Ferns' second try after 23 minutes, the Kiwis forcing another turnover with strong counter-rucking.

Winiata attacked the line, then regathered her chip kick ahead to ease the Kiwis out to a 14-0 lead.

Canada looked threatening with the ball in hand, but turnovers and handling errors continued to cost them dearly until flanker Jacey Grusnick finished off a sweeping move four minutes out from the break.

Magili Harvey added a penalty right on the whistle to reduce the Kiwis' lead to 14-8, the Black Ferns also losing prop Pip Love to a yellow card.

Halfback Kendra Cocksedge made light of the disparity in numbers, darting across five minutes after the restart to extend New Zealand's lead to 21-8.

Lack of discipline could have proven costly two minutes later when first-five Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali was sinbinned for a dangerous tackle.

But the ever-vigilant Cocksedge spotted a gap and sliced through for her second try to put the game out of reach, although Elissa Alarie scored a consolation try for Canada late in stoppage time.

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