Ruthless Black Ferns bounce back in style

Getty Images     14 Aug 2014     Getty Images

The four-time reigning champions ran in eleven tries to one in easily their best showing of the tournament in the eyes of New Zealand assistant coach Grant Hansen.

“After a frustrating week the girls certainly put it together today,” he said.

“At half-time they were really excited and their aim was to keep the momentum going and really put the foot on the throat - so very proud.

“That’s the way we like to play it and I think we’ve sent out a bit of a message that there’s still a bit left in this team.” Hansen added.

Left wing Shakira Baker profited from a relentless black wave of attack, dotting down for a hat-trick inside twenty-five minutes and crossing for her fourth in the second half.

“I benched in the last game against the USA and got the opportunity to start this time so I was really stoked,” the 22-year-old said.

“It was a good team effort and the girls played well.

“They hit it up in the midfield and then spread it out wide where I was lucky enough to be to finish it off.”

The resounding victory was made extra special by the healthy Kiwi contingent in the crowd, who had turned out in force despite the team only playing for the minor places.

“Yeh it was awesome,” Baker said.

“My Mum’s come over and I know we have a lot of supporters back at home too and it is really great to have all that support.”

A dominant forwards display was the bedrock for the youthful Kiwi backline to shift the ball at pace and constantly expose the Welsh defense.

Alongside Baker’s four try heroics, pacey fullback Selica Winiata bagged a brace, while bulldozing veteran centre Amira Rule was rewarded for her strong showing with a late run-away try.

Hansen believed they got the balance of flair and focus right today.

“You’ve got to match the Welsh passion at set-piece and around the break-downs and once we got dominance there it was clearly to our advantage to play one-on-one rugby out wide.”

The Black Ferns will enjoy a day off in Paris tomorrow, before refocussing for the their fifth and sixth play-off final against the USA.

The Americans qualified courtesy of last gasp penalty to upset Australia 23-20 in the later game.

As well as finishing as high as they can, assistant coach Hansen was adamant that they must go out with a bang and lay a marker for the future.

“Last game together and it’s been a big campaign which has taken a long time.

“We’re all excited and we live to fight another day - so it’s all on,” He added.

New Zealand plays the USA at 12.30am Monday morning (NZT).