Black Ferns bounce back to beat Wallaroos

 Renee Wickliffe scores a try for the Black Ferns on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images
Renee Wickliffe scores a try for the Black Ferns on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images
The Black Ferns bounced back from their shock loss to France last month with a comprehensive 47-10 victory over the Wallaroos in Perth.

The eight-tries-to-two Laurie O'Reilly Cup victory at Optus Stadium on Saturday night, ahead of the All Blacks against the Wallabies, was the Black Ferns' 18th over the Wallaroos.

The Australians have yet to taste success against the New Zealanders and, after heading into this test with supreme confidence after two comfortable warm-up wins over Japan, they are unlikely to be quite as sure of themselves at Eden Park next weekend.

The home side's list of transgressions was nearly as long as the Swan River next door. Their lineout was poor and ball security even worse; the Kiwis constantly stripping the ball. But worse again was their defence.

In the first half alone the Wallaroos missed 28 tackles to the Black Ferns' one, and the visitors went to the break with a 22-0 lead thanks to a double from excellent No 8 Charmaine McMenamin, her second a good finish from a scorching break by right wing Renee Wickliffe.

The Black Ferns' attacking instincts and appreciation for space set them apart, but so too did their hunger. First-five Ruahei Demant scored their fourth try before the break by busting past two would-be defenders and then through Australia fullback Mahalia Murphy, who should have done far better.

The black pack had set the tone early on, particularly powerhouse hooker Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, locks Eloise Blackwell and Charmaine Smith and loose forwards McMenamin, captain Les Elder and Pia Tapsell.

With halfback Kendra Cocksedge ever alert to opportunities and second-five Chelsea Alley able to manipulate the defence by initially holding her feet into contact and from then on blowing straight through it, the Black Ferns' outside backs Wickliffe, Selica Winiata and Ayesha Leti-l'iga had all the space they required to run amok.

It was a cross-kick from Demant which found the space for Winiata to score first for the Ferns in the second half after Wallaroos left wing Lori Cramer scored the first of her two tries.

To the Wallaroos' credit, they tightened up in the second half, with centre Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea increasingly influential, but then the floodgates opened again in the final quarter.

The second try from Cramer, a concrete worker, narrowed the score to 30-10 with 15 minutes remaining, but Black Ferns openside flanker Elder, one of the fittest on the pitch, intercepted from 40m out and went over for a try in the tackle of Samantha Treherne. Tries from Leti-l'iga and Joanah Ngan-Woo completed the rout.

"They tested us in early stages of the second half but I think the start we had really put them under pressure," Elder said.

Black Ferns 47 (Charmaine McMenamin 2, Renee Wickliffe, Ruahei Demant, Selica Winiata, Les Elder, Ayesha Leti-l'iga tries, Joanah Ngan-Woo; Kendra Cocksedge con, pen, Dumant con)

Wallaroos 10 (Lori Cramer 2 tries)

Halftime: 22-0

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