The New Zealand women's rugby team has opened their defence of the Women's Rugby World Cup with a big win over Kazakhstan in France.

The Black Ferns cantered to a 79-5 victory in a match that served multiple purposes for head coach Brian Evans.

Evans watched an impressive display from forwards and backs alike against a highly competitive Kazakhstan, who like the Ferns were willing to run around.

While the New Zealanders appeared to be picked to play their rugby at speed with Sevens players present, it was notable that their pack was ominous at the set piece, while the intensity of the defence never lost its punch.

Advertisement

It was something that Evans and the coaching team were aware of a few years ago and had purposely ensured that the power of the Black Ferns was increased.

"We definitely needed some power up front," Evans said from Marcoussis.

"Teams are getting bigger, it was something we noticed against England some time ago, and we felt that we were size-wise struggling.

"Some of the more powerful players are now ready to play and have the power to go with ability."

That was obvious throughout the contest as the ball handing was prominent but the willingness of the forwards to crash up hard and straight led to numerous line breaks through the Kazakhstan defence.

Evans said that there was a buzz around the camp now that the tournament had begun.

"It is awesome to actually be doing it, to put it on the pitch and try things out," he said.

Evans had a lot of praise for his players, with Sevens captain Huriana Manuel putting in an eye catching performance in the midfield.

Advertisement

"Huriana is an outstanding player, and if anything she will be disappointed with her efforts," Evans noted.

"The team has such high standards."

For now, the Black Ferns have a four-day turnaround before their next match against Ireland, the 2013 Six Nations Women's champions.

"Ireland are a good team and we will have a look at them," Evans said.

"They are a big side and we will watch them against the USA later today and gather some footage.

"We are aware that it going to be very competitive as the World Cup continues - France, England, Ireland and even Australia are going to be tough."