New Zealand began their Pacific 4s campaign with a 50-0 win against Australia in Brisbane, in front of an Australian record crowd of 7.055.
Report : ARU
It was a record crowd for a standalone Wallaroos match in Australia, however, it was all the Kiwis from the opening whistle.
Centre Sylvia Brunt was world-class, scoring a double as they took a 26-0 lead into the break. She was joined by debutant Mererangi Paul, who scored tries either side of half-time. Two late tries sealed the win in style for the Kiwis, going to the top of the Pacific Four Series.
The Black Ferns were playing their first game since winning last year’s World Cup and established their dominance early. Bree-Anna Cheatham delivered some strong carries early as the first 10 minutes turned into a midfield battle.
Black Ferns Prop Tanya Kalounivale then sparked the crowd off a lineout ten metres out, barging past a couple of defenders to score the opener. They dominated the physical battle early as the Australians struggled to clear their line.
It allowed Allan Bunting’s side to claim the tight head on the hosts’ line and eventually Sylvia Brunt found the line after sustained pressure. Carys Dallinger tried to spark the Wallaroos with a grubber in behind but the Black Ferns were rolling as Brunt crossed for a double.
Growing in confidence, great interchange between the Kiwi backline put Mererangi Paul into space, who produced a nice chip and chase try to give them a 26-0 lead at the break. Paul picked up from where she left off, finishing nicely in the corner just after the break.
The Black Ferns maintained their ruthless pressure and whilst Liana Mikaele-Tu'u was denied a try, Chelsea Bremner crossed for their sixth of the night just before the hour mark. The injection of Arabella McKenzie steadied the ship for the Aussies, producing some great touches off the bench.
However, the Black Ferns were in control and Alana Bremner followed sister Chelsea over to seal the win. Iritana Hohaia brought up the half century in style after the siren to celebrate Allan Brunting’s first game in charge in style
BLACK FERNS 50
TRIES: Kalounivale, Brunt 2, Paul 2, C. Bremner, A. Bremner, Hohaia
CONS: Holmes 4/6, Willison 1/2
WALLAROOS v BLACK FERNS TEAMS
WALLAROOS (1-15): Bree-Anna Cheatham, Tania Naden, Eva Karpani, Michaela Leonard (c), Annabelle Codey, Kaitlan Leaney, Ashley Marsters, Grace Hamilton, Layne Morgan, Carys Dallinger, Ivania Wong, Cecilia Smith, Georgina Friedrichs, Maya Stewart, Faitala Moleka.
RESERVES: Madison Schuck, Emily Robinson, Bridie O'Gorman, Sera Naiqama, Emily Chancellor, Jasmin Huriwai, Arabella McKenzie, Alana Elisaia.
BLACK FERNS (1-15): Kate Henwood, Georgia Ponsonby, Tanya Kalounivale, Maiakawanakaulani Roos, Chelsea Bremner, Alana Bremner, Kennedy Simon (co-c), Liana Mikaele-Tu'u, Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu, Ruahei Demant (co-c), Katelyn Vahaakolo, Sylvia Brunt, Amy du Plessis, Mererangi Paul, Renee Holmes
RESERVES: Luka Connor, Krystal Murray, Amy Rule, Joanah Ngan Woo, Kendra Reynolds, Iritana Hohaia, Rosie Kelly, Tenika Willison
Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron
Assistant Referees Amber McLachlan & Natarsha Ganley
National crowd records for women's rugby test matches (at 29th June 2023)
For standalone tests:
England: 58,498 v France (Twickenham) 2023 (World record)
France: 18,603 v Wales (Grenoble) 2023
Spain: 9,000 v Netherlands (Madrid) 2019
Wales: 8,862 v England (Cardiff) 2023
Australia: 7,055 v New Zealand (Brisbane) 2023
Ireland: 6,113 v Wales (Dublin) 2022
Scotland: 4,862 v Ireland (Edinburgh) 2023
Italy: 4,700 v Wales (Parma) 2023
New Zealand: 3,813 v Australia (Christchurch) 2022
Women-only double-headers (where larger than the above):
New Zealand: 42,579 World Cup Final (Eden Park) 2022
Ireland: 17,115 World Cup Final (Belfast) 2017
Madagascar: c15,000 v Cameroon (Antananarivo) 2023