Rugby: Black Ferns sweep series against England

The Black Ferns secured a clean sweep in their three-match series against England. Photo / Getty Images.
The Black Ferns secured a clean sweep in their three-match series against England. Photo / Getty Images.

England might have thought the power in women's rugby was switching to the northern hemisphere but those ideas will have to be put on hold after the Black Ferns secured a clean sweep in their three-match series.

New Zealand beat England 29-8 in the final match at Pukekohe this afternoon, to go with their wins at Eden Park and Hamilton in the last seven days.

They came into the series not having beaten England in six matches (five wins and a draw) since winning the 2010 World Cup final against their great rivals.

And while England should probably have won the second test in Hamilton, when Selicia Winiata scored a long-range try on fulltime to snatch a dramatic 14-9 victory, the Black Ferns were the better side overall.

England didn't help their cause today. They looked out of sorts and lacking structure and if affected their discipline. They finished today's match with 14 players when Harriet Millar-Mills was yellow-carded for a professional foul late in the match and it came soon after a melee as tempers flared.

New Zealand built a commanding 17-3 halftime lead as they tried to shift the ball and scored tries to Claire Richardson and Aroha Savage.

England enjoyed a good period early in the second spell but any thoughts of a comeback were thwarted when Winiata finished off a superb backline move to the delight of the 1620-strong crowd at ECOLight Stadium and halfback Kendra Cocksedge rounded things off as the hooter sounded to record an emphatic victory.

England's scrum enjoyed dominance and their forwards gained territory rumbling the ball up but New Zealand's backline was far too slick and first five-eighths Kelly Brazier steered the team around the park well.

The game was also notable for the appearance of Papatoetoe High School student Onjeurlina Leiataua, 17, who made her debut from the bench for the last six minutes of the match.

The two sides are bound to continue their rivalry at next year's World Cup in France.

New Zealand 29 (Claire Richardson, Aroha Savage, Selica Winiata, Kendra Cocksedge try; Kelly Brazier pen, 2 cons, Cocksedge con) England 8 (Rochelle Clark try; Katy McLean pen).

HT: 17-3.

- APNZ

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