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New Zealand women’s rugby domination over arch rivals Australia has continued with the all-conquering Black Ferns crushing the Wallaroos 31-11 in the Bledisloe Cup curtain raiser in Sydney.
Black Ferns 31
The Wallaroos play the Black Ferns tonight, before Bledisloe game 1, as the first match of a historic series against the world champions. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 5:15pm AEST.
This is the first Test in Australia for the Wallaroos since 2008, and the first time they’ve played since the 2017 World Cup.
While last year’s WC was something of a failure for the Aussies, since then, professional contracts have been reached – where players will get paid per Test, as well as a largely successful domestic competition taking place.
The New Zealanders have won all of the 15 games against the Australians, so a win tonight would be completely unprecedented. When New Zealand hosted the Wallaroos in a two-game series back in 2016, the home team won both games comprehensively, 67-3 and 29-3.
Last year’s fixture, as a World Cup warmup, saw the Black Ferns run out to a hefty 34-5 lead, before the Wallaroos made up some ground in the second half, NZ eventually winning 44-17.
Five debutants will run out for the New Zealanders, Ruahei Demant, Alena Saili, Krysten Cottrell, Cristo Tofa and Leilani Perese all playing their first ever test on Saturday night, in a Black Ferns team boasting all of 379 caps.
Australia, off the back of the Super W, will play nine debutants, in Georgia O’Neill, Crystal Maguire, Atasi Lafai, Mhicca Carter, Darryl Wickliffe, Melissa Fatu, Alice Tonumaivao, Shanice Parker and Emily Chancellor.
Sarah Riordan will unluckily sit this game out with injury, after bizarrely rolling her ankle during a “crossbar challenge” at training on Wednesday, however she may return for next week’s clash in Auckland next week, while in the meantime, uncapped Crystal Maguire will slot in for her at inside centre.
You’d be mad to tip the Wallaroos, after blowout scorelines in many of the games so far – Australia have conceded 555 points in the 15 games they’ve played so far, at an average of 37 per game, while only scoring 111 points at an average of about seven.
The Wallaroos won’t win this game. However, if they can put 20 points or so on the women in black, which would be their highest ever score vs the Kiwis, the Aussies will take plenty of confidence into next week.
New Zealand by 20.