New Zealand put on a fine display as they thrashed Scotland 57-0 to proceed to the business end of the World Cup on top.
The Black Fern was assured of a spot in the last eight after previous wins in Pool A.
New Zealand thrashed Scotland 57-0 on Saturday morning in what is arguably their best performance of the year.
New Zealand went into the match assured of a spot in the last eight after previous wins in Pool A. And for that reason, coach Wayne Smith rested the team’s two leading try-scorers, Portia Woodman and Ruby Tui.
The massive win over Scotland means that New Zealand have finished the group stages unbeaten. The Black Fern are assured of the top seed as they head into the quarter-finals.
Scotland have exited the Rugby World Cup without a win after previously losing to Wales and Australia. Bryan Easson’s side knew they would need a miracle to defeat New Zealand to qualify for the quarter-finals.
And they knew the miracle would not materialize within just two minutes of kickoff as New Zealand raced out of the blocks to score a try.
Full-back Renee Holmes scored the first try after touching down in the left corner. The Black Ferns showed all their attacking flair in the opening minutes of the first half, leaving Scotland stunned.
Ayesha Leti-I’iga scored New Zealand’s second try after finding herself with acres of space. Sarah Hirini scored her side’s third try before Mikaele-Tu’u crashed over to secure New Zealand the bonus point. New Zealand’s try bonus point came from a penalty to touch in the Scots 22.
Scotland enjoyed some possession in the last midway through the halfway, making some decent progress. But they lost the ball, and New Zealand’s brilliant attacking force scored the fifth try.
New Zealand’s fifth try was the best of the day as Fitzpatrick gathered an audacious offload from Alana Bremner and managed to ground the ball among several Scottish defenders.
Homes added two points for New Zealand before Renee Wickliffe strolled over for her second right on the stroke of half-time.
Scotland, who were trailing 40-0 at the start of the second half, placed some pressure on New Zealand. Scotland came close to scoring twice, only for them to lose possession.
Scotland’s defence also improved in the second half, and it took a superb effort for New Zealand to score their first.
Holmes scored New Zealand’s ninth try of the game after a brilliant move led by Sylvia Brunt.
New Zealand’s frustrations grew in the last fifteen, as shown by an increasing penalty count. The match’s referee gave substitute prop Tanya Kalounivale a yellow card for the repeated offences.
Scotland head coach Bryan Easson praised his side for keeping the ball so much better in the second half.
“We got caught cold a little bit, but in the second half, we kept the ball so much better. It shows what they’re all about. We’re ready to kick on again, and we want to be back on this stage. The two losing bonus points could have been two wins – that’s how close we are.”
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