AUCKLAND, NZ – The Black Ferns dominated the game on Saturday against Rugby Canada. This was even seen in the first half, as New Zealand kept pressing throughout the game, but was unlucky to not get a try in the first half.
Black Ferns dominated the Pacific Four Series clash against Rugby Canada
Three keys to the game
— Raheem (@bashirra) June 12, 2022
The Black Ferns put a lot of pressure on Rugby Canada
The offensive pressure of the Black Ferns was there throughout the game. Yes, Rugby Canada had a positive spell to start the game including Sara Kaljuvee and Alysha Corrigan forcing a steal in the fourth minute of play. However, after that, it was all New Zealand. Even in the first half, that was the case. New Zealand had a few chances to score in the first half like in the 28-minute. Fortunately, for Rugby Canada, New Zealand only converted two penalty conversions in the first half.
— Raheem (@bashirra) June 12, 2022
However, the Black Ferns changed that narrative in the second half. They were able to score three tries in the second half.
- Ruby Tui scored two tries. This included a fantastic individual try in the 47-minute where she kicked forward the ball to herself to score the try. This try was very similar to how Renata Roberts-Tenana scored for Old Glory DC on June 5 against the Toronto Arrows.
- Maiakawanakaulani Roos and Cheyelle Robins-Reti scored the other two tries. Robins-Reti’s try happened because of a great run deep into Rugby Canada’s half by Ayesha Leti-l’iga.
Black Ferns played well defensively
Saturday’s game was most impressive, and a lot of that had to do with their defence. This is what the New Zealand captain said about the defence:
“Yeah, it was tiring. They threw everything at us. We got a few sore bodies here. And there were a few girls pulling out with a cramp at the end. But it just shows how much this jersey, and this legacy means to us.”
It certainly looks like the chemistry with the Black Ferns was evident on Saturday’s game. They were a few examples of this, which were:
- New Zealand won the ball back in the set-piece in the 20-minute.
- In the 68-minute, Rugby Canada tried to break New Zealand’s defensive wall but was unsuccessful.
Doing well in defence requires everybody to be on board. The Black Ferns’ defence also forced Rugby Canada to commit a lot of turnovers when they had possession of the ball. This along with their relentless pressure is why New Zealand won the game.
Rugby Canada did not take advantage of the Black Ferns’ yellow cards
If there was one thing the Black Ferns did not do well, it was their discipline. Twice, New Zealand received a yellow card. One in the first half and another in the second half. Unfortunately, for Canada, they did not take advantage.
In terms of timing, the first yellow card, given to Tanya Kalounivale could have been the turning point in the game. However, what happened instead was that New Zealand was closer to scoring than Canada. As mentioned before, New Zealand was still able to put on relentless pressure. Ruahei Demant made a good run deep in Canada’s half. This allowed New Zealand to get some chances to score. Tui’s pass to Joanah Ngah-Woo could have led to a try.
The second yellow card was received by the Black Ferns’ Kaipo Olsen-Baker in the 54-minute. Canada almost immediately scored, but they turned over the ball deep into the Black Ferns’ try line.
Game Summary: Black Ferns dominated the game with relentless pressure and defence
— Black Ferns (@BlackFerns) June 12, 2022
This is what the New Zealand captain, Ruahei Demant, said about Tui after she scored her first two test tries in the second half:
“It is so cool, Ruby is such a humble player. She is obviously great on the field, but I think what people do not see is how great she is off the field and how much she encourages the girls and brings everyone together.”
New Zealand has won five of the last six Rugby World Cups. They and England will be the teams to beat in this year’s World Cup. Rugby Canada made the 2014 Rugby World Cup final, where they lost to England.
The Black Ferns dominated the historical head-to-head matchups with Rugby Canada also. Canada faced New Zealand sixteen times and has yet to earn a win. They are the only team Rugby Canada has not defeated, as they have defeated the other nations that they have faced at least once in their history.
What is next for both teams
JOB DONE 🇺🇸💪 pic.twitter.com/5z7wOf5Tti
— USA Rugby (@USARugby) June 12, 2022
In the other game, the U.S. got their first win in the Pacific Four Series with a 16-12 win against Australia or nicknamed the Wallaroos. The U.S. started the game strong as they held on to a late surge from Australia. This win though does not mean the U.S. can win the Pacific Four Series. The best they can do is finish second in the Pacific Four Series.
Both teams have one more game in the Pacific Four Series. New Zealand is in a comfortable position to win the competition as the lowest they can finish in second place. It is also possible for them to win the Pacific Four Series, even with a loss. The only team that can catch up to New Zealand is Canada. However, Rugby Canada needs to win by a big score and earn the bonus point. Even with that, it is unlikely that Canada will win the competition as New Zealand has a much better points differential than Canada.
What is more important though for Canada is to gain experience from these competitions. They were impressive in their first game against the U.S., and a win against Australia would boost the confidence of this squad heading into the Rugby World Cup in October/November in New Zealand.
Rugby Canada’s last Pacific Four Series game will be against Australia on June 17 at 9:23 p.m. ET while the game between New Zealand and USA Rugby will be played against the U.S. at 11:51 p.m. ET. Fans can watch the Canada game live on TSN.ca/TSN App. The game can also be watched live on TSN2 but on tape delay at 1:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 18. The U.S. game can also be watched on TSN.ca/TSN App.
Main Photo Credit:
Embed from Getty Images