Wallaroos fall to Black Ferns in series opener

· Womens International
by Rugby Australia

The Buildcorp Wallaroos have fallen to a rampant New Zealand Black Ferns in the opening match of the two-Test Trans-Tasman Series today in Perth.

On a sun-soaked Optus Stadium the Buildcorp Wallaroos scored two brilliant tries through winger Lori Cramer, both created by clever lead-up play from boom centre Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea, however the visiting world champions proved their class by crossing eight times to run out 47-10 winners.

In a historic first match for the Wallaroos in the west, it was the Black Ferns who struck first with number 8 Charmaine McMenamin crossing for the opening try from a 9th minute maul.

That lead was extended five minutes later when winger Renee Wickliffe capitalised on a pinpoint cut-out ball to score in the corner, before McMenamin registered her double.

After a tightly contested back and forth contest between the two sides for the opening 30 minutes, flyhalf Ruahei Demant’s late surging run through the middle to score next to the posts opened up a 22-0 lead for the New Zealanders at the half.

The Wallaroos needed to answer early in the second stanza, and did just that, after Lefau-Fakaosilea forced a turnover deep in her own half to allow Cramer to swoop on the loose ball and charge 75 metres downfield to the try line.

New Zealand quickly answered through fullback Selica Winiata to knock the wind out of the Australians’ sails, and then a Kendra Cocksedge penalty saw the visitors pull away to a 30-5 lead at the midpoint of the second half.

Desperately looking for a spark, it was Cramer who crossed again following an offload from Lefau-Fakaosilea close to the line to enable the home side to pull back to a 20-point deficit.

New Zealand would hit back again though, with Captain Les Elder stepping up for her side before Ayesha Leti-I'iga and Joanah Ngan-Woo followed her lead in a flurry of tries to close out the contest.

The two teams will meet again next week in the second instalment of the International double- header to be played at Eden Park, Auckland. 

AS IT HAPPENED:

9mins: Charmaine McMenamin try AUS 0-5 NZ
14mins: Renee Wickliffe try AUS 0-10 NZ
33mins: Charmaine McMenamin try AUS 0-15 NZ
38mins: Ruahei Demant try Kendra Cocksedge con AUS 0-22 NZ
HALF TIME
45mins: Lori Cramer try AUS 5-22 NZ 
50mins: Selica Winiata try AUS 5-27 NZ
59mins: Kendra Cocksedge pen AUS 5-30 NZ
64mins: Lori Cramer try AUS 10-30 NZ
68mins: Les Elder try Ruahei Demant con AUS 10-37 NZ
72mins: Ayesha Leti-I'iga try AUS 10-42 NZ
79mins: Joanah Ngan-Woo try AUS 10-47 NZ

BUILDCORP WALLAROOS:

1. Liz Patu (17. Emily Robinson 58mins), 2. Averyl Mitchell (16. Ash Marsters 51mins), 3. Evelyn Horomia (18. Christina Sekona 55mins), 4. Michaela Leonard, 5. Alisha Hewett (19. Rebecca Clough 75min), 6. Millie Boyle (vc), 7. Emily Chancellor (20. Shannon Mato 63mins), 8. Grace Hamilton (c), 9. Georgia Cormick (21. Iliseva Batibasaga 47min), 10. Trilleen Pomare, 11. Lori Cramer, 12. Ariana Hira Herangi (22. Arabella McKenzie 65mins), 13. Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea, 14. Samantha Treherne, 15. Mahalia Murphy (23. Mhicca Carter 58mins)

BLACK FERNS:

1. Toka Natua, 2. Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, 3. Aleisha-Pearl Nelson (18. Olivia Ward-Duin 75min), 4. Eloise Blackwell, 5. Charmaine Smith (19. Joanah Ngan-Woo 75min), 6. Pia Tapsell, 7. Les Elder (C) (20. Kennedy Simon 75min), 8. Charmaine McMenamin, 9. Kendra Cocksedge (vc) (21. Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu 63mins), 10. Ruahei Demant, 11. Ayesha Leti-I'iga, 12. Chelsea Alley (23. Kilisitina Moata'ane 55mins), 13. Carla Hohepa, 14. Renee Wickliffe, 15. Selica Winiata (vc)