Black Ferns credit Canada’s growth, lament poor discipline in loss

Canada won the Pacific Four Series title over the weekend in Christchurch with a historic 22-19 win over the Black Ferns.

It was Canada's first ever win over a New Zealand team, adding to what was a momentous day for Canadian rugby.

In a game in which Canada made nearly 250 tackles compared to New Zealand's 101, the visitors completed nearly 90 per cent of their tackle attempts, implementing an aggressive defensive line throughout an impressive 80-minute performance.

After taking a 24-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of their match against the USA, the Black Ferns once again came out of the gates with a goal in Christchurch, but the 14-3 lead they took in the 22nd minute against Canada was no good. Adequate.

The Canadians weathered the New Zealand storm and used their rolling stroke to great effect, coming from behind to take a lead early in the second period that they would never relinquish.

“We can always improve. “That's where our focus was and that was the message at the end of the game,” Black Ferns captain Ruahi Demant said after the loss.

“I think it's exciting to know that whatever opponent you play, you can't take them lightly. Our journey to next year's World Cup won't always be smooth, but I think that's where we'll make the most growth.

“We are looking to expand and grow in many areas of our game and we know this will not always go perfectly, but this is where we will see the most growth.”

Black Ferns coach Alan Ponting said there were some simple lessons to be learned from the contest and gave his side's opponents their roses for the win.

“Canada has improved their game, they've gone out and made some changes, and they have a very good style of play going for them.”

New Zealand's ambitious attacking game struggled in the inaugural WXV 1 competition last year after another unbeaten run in the Pacific Four Series and of course winning the 2022 Rugby World Cup.

Aggressive defensive lines from the likes of France and England exposed the world champions' potent attack, resulting in them finishing fourth behind their Pacific Four Series rivals in the International Premier Division.

“It's been frustrating at times and obviously we're disappointed as a whole group. It's on all of us,” Ponting added.

“Canada brought that to us…they were physical, they stuck to the ball and they definitely played in the right areas of the field. Our discipline let them down a little bit, so we'll learn some lessons from that.”


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