Kiana Takairangi's debut in a Kiwi Ferns jersey is a match she won't soon forget.

A standout at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup for the Cook Islands, the Kiwi Ferns' centre made the most of her first game in black and white, bagging a double in a 46-8 win over Fetu Samoa.

In the first clash between the two nations in 11 years, the Kiwi Ferns ran in nine tries to two at Mt Smart Stadium as they dominated possession and territory.

Takairangi didn't have to wait long to get her first points on the board for the Kiwi Ferns, scoring the game's opening try inside the opening five minutes, before crossing for her second just six minutes later.


It was an indication of things to come for Fetu Samoa, who looked like they would have to weather an early onslaught. The Kiwi Ferns added to the early damage with a stunning 50m solo effort from centre Honey Hireme, who extended the score to 14-0 inside of 15 minutes.

Early on, Takairangi and Hireme were the benefactors of some strong work from the pack, with the likes of Annetta Nuuausala and Georgia Hale causing the Fetu Samoa defence all sorts of trouble up the middle of the park.

After falling behind early, the visitors calmed down and were able to maintain some possession and try to launch their own attack. But while they were able to work into the red zone a couple of times, they weren't able to penetrate the Kiwi Ferns' defences until the final stages of the first half.

Awarded a penalty within the final minutes of the opening stanza, Fetu Samoa took advantage when it appeared the Kiwi Ferns had checked out of the half, with Billy-Jean Ale scoring out wide to see the Samoan side trail by 22 at the break.

The second half didn't start much better than the first ended for the Kiwi Ferns, with their opening restart sailing out on the full to gift the visitors the ball on halfway. But after seeing off an early Samoan attack, the hosts again put their foot down.

The Kiwi Ferns took over early in the second half and didn't look back. Hireme, Apii Nicholls, Kathleen Wharton, Madison Bartlett and Teuila Fotu-Moala all scored in the second half to help seal a convincing win.

Kiwi Ferns 46 (Kiana Takairangi 2, Honey Hireme 2, Kathleen Wharton, Raecene McGregor, Madison Bartlett, Teuila Fotu-Moala, Apii Nicholls tries; Charntay Poko 3 cons, Nicholls con)

Fetu Samoa 8 (Billy-Jean Ale, Moana Fineaso-Levi tries)


HT: 26-4