New Zealand turn on the style against Scotland
New Zealand made sure that they will head into the Rugby World Cup 2021 quarter-finals with a maximum 15 points in Pool A by turning on the style against Scotland.
The Black Ferns are ranked number two in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini and they showed why as they scored seven tries at the Northland Events Centre in Whangārei and won 57-0.
After two tight losses against Wales and Australia, this was a tough day at the office for Scotland who will finish fourth in the pool and will not be progressing.
The first try of the match came within two minutes, a speedy start from New Zealand seeing full-back Renee Holmes going over for five points. She could not convert it herself, but it was the perfect start for the tournament hosts.
Try number two came in the 10th minute through winger Ayesha Leti-l'iga and, just two minutes later, flanker Sarah Hirini went over. Holmes converted Hirini’s effort and it was 17-0.
Scotland were struggling to cope with the offloading game coming from their opponents and the bonus-point fourth try came in the 17th minute for New Zealand via number eight Liana Mikaele-Tu'u. Holmes converted.
Centre Theresa Fitzpatrick showed great handling skills while she was being tackled to dot down for try number five just after the half-hour mark which Holmes converted.
And New Zealand made it six tries when fly-half Hazel Tubic set-up winger Renee Wickliffe who finished well. The scoring pass by Tubic was checked for a potential forward pass, but referee Aurelie Groizeleau declared it was fine and the conversion by Holmes made it 38-0.
There was still time for a seventh New Zealand try before half-time, Wickcliffe getting her second with Holmes converting to make it 45-0 after 40 minutes.
Credit to Scotland, after a very tough first half for them, they were much better in the early part of the second period.
However, New Zealand showed how clinical they can be by scoring try number eight with their first attack of the half.
It came through second-row Maiakawanakaulani Roos in the 52nd minute and was converted by Holmes as New Zealand went through 50 points.
Scotland kept on battling, though, and due to New Zealand being under a bit of pressure, their replacement tight-head prop Tanya Kalounivale was yellow carded with 15 minutes to go.
Just before New Zealand were back to 15 players they managed to score their ninth try, an unconverted one this time by Holmes who now had 22 points to her name.
That was the way it finished and the large home crowd were delighted with what they had seen.