Black Ferns dust off the cobwebs in warm up matches

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The 60-minute matches saw all members of the squad have a run against the England Under 20s and Wales Women’s sides.

 

In honour of the passing of Sean Wainui, the squad separated into two teams, Wainui Tahi and Wainui Rua.

 

Wainui Tahi kicked things off against England Under 20, and wasted little time getting into their work, with Ayesha Leti-I’iga scoring her first of four tries in the opening two minutes.

 

Tahi ran in 13 tries across the hour and while it was predominantly the backs running in the points, the forwards laid a strong platform with powerful supporting runs and classy offloads.

 

Carla Hohepa captained the side from the midfield and picked up one five pointer, her midfield partner Grace Brooker crossed twice. Iritana Hohaia, Renee Holmes, Krystal Murray, Liana Mikaele-Tu’u and Ariana Baylor all contributed to the score card.

 

Auckland first five-eighths Patricia Maliepo scored 23 points, with a try and nine conversions.



Wainui Rua had a physical encounter against Wales. Similar to the first game, it didn’t take long to open the scoring with Renee Wickliffe showing her pace in her first of two tries.

 

Her second five pointer was one of the stand outs of the day, chasing a kick off that looked headed into touch but instead, Wickliffe snatched the bouncing all and dived over for the points.

 

Olympians Portia Woodman and Stacey Fluhler both impressed, Woodman picking up a hat trick and Fluhler a menace in the midfield with her trademark ‘whack’.

 

Fluhler, Cheyelle Robins-Reti, Dhys Faleafaga and Holmes all scored, with halfback Kendra Cocksedge knocking over five conversions.

Speaking after the matches Head Coach Glenn Moore was happy to have got some good game time for the players.

 

“We’ve done a lot of hard work internally, the only thing missing is we haven’t had the game time recently, so I think today will have given the players a real lift.

 

“I the first match we had a lot of younger players and that hit out will give them confidence. We’ve said all along we’re looking forward to seeing this young talent in action at this level and the confidence they would have got out of today’s game is important.

 

“There are a few things we are working on in our game and one of those is continuity. I thought we were exceptional in that area, our ability to keep the ball alive and have support players was superb.

 

“The squad has come together really well and have been working really hard. There are a few things we need to build on leading into the England Test this weekend and we’re looking forward to that,” said Moore.

 

The Black Ferns 100th Test match is Sunday afternoon (GMT time), against the England Red Roses at Sandy Park in Exeter. It is the first of four Tests on the End of Year Tour for the Black Ferns.

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