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Silver Ferns hammer Wales in second Test

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/02/2017

Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby says valuable lessons have been learned throughout an off-season tour which ended on a winning note in Cardiff.

New Zealand beat world No.8 Wales 72-39 in Cardiff, having to work harder than a day earlier when they crushed the hosts 92-27.

It completes a five-Test tour which included a runners-up finish in the Quad Series. They lost the opener by seven goals to champions Australia in Durban before comfortable wins over England and South Africa in England.

Southby said fatigue caught up with her players in the final match on Thursday (NZT), although that shouldn't excuse a drop in standards from some of her players.

She was forced to make wholesale changes after the more-committed Welsh trailed just 15-12 following the first quarter and 31-21 at halftime.

Gina Crampton was injected at wing attack, with Grace Rasmussen moving to the less-familiar goal attack role. It pushed Te Paea Selby-Rickit to goal shoot in place of Maia Wilson.

Rasmussen, who was named player of the series, used her speed to excellent effect.

Southby indicated Wilson and rookie goal keep Kelly Jury, who also made way in a halftime defensive reshuffle, were caught napping at times.

"It was a good learning experience for a couple of our younger ones in that you do have to bring it whenever you go out there," Southby said.

"And unfortunately (there were) some tired bodies at the end of a long tour. There's some work for us to go away and think about."

Southby appreciated the chance to experiment with players out of position in both Welsh Tests.

An example was employing captain Katrina Grant at wing defence for periods.

"You also see what they've got inside them when they're put under pressure, so it's been a really useful series."

Goal attack Maria Tutaia played the Quad Series but sat out both Tests in Cardiff.

Southby said Tutaia's workload was managed by medical staff after the influential shooter spend much of last year battling a foot injury.

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