“England did a really good job of putting us under pressure at the lineout. We probably didn’t react or regroup the way we should have. They played, very well.”
The Black Ferns were only able to cross the whitewash twice. Blindside Alana Bremner – who was sent to the sin bin in the second half – and Stacey Fluhler – a Tokyo sevens gold medallist – both scoring after half time to make the scoreline a little more respectable for the visitors.
However, England captain Sarah Hunter told her team-mates to expect a backlash from the women in black next week at Franklin’s Gardens. “We will enjoy the win this evening because these wins don’t come often but our focus will shift from tomorrow because New Zealand will come hard. They will be hurting after that and we expect them to come at us. We have to enjoy these occasions when they come.”
Scoring sequence: 5-0 Ward; 10-0 Ward, 12-0 Harrison con; 17-0 Kildunne try; 17-5 Bremner try, 17-7 Cocksedge con; 22-7 Davies try, 24-7 Harrison con; 29-7 Aitchison try, 34-7 Dow try, 36-7 Harrison con; 36-12 Fluhler try; 41-12 Harrison try, 43-12 Harrison.
England: E Kildunne (S McKenna 70); L Thompson, H Aitchison, L Tuima (H Rowland 70), A Dow; Z Harrison, C MacDonald (L Infante 70); H Botterman (V Cornborough 56), L Davies (A Cokayne 56), S Bern (M Muir 58), P Cleall (H Millar-Mills 69), A Ward, Z Aldcroft, M Packer (A Matthews 58), S Hunter.
New Zealand: R Holmes; R Wickliffe, S Fluhler, C Alley, A Leti-l’iga; R Demant, K Cocksedge (A Bayler 72); P Love (K Murray 52), T Ngata-Aerengamate (G Houpapa-Barrett 52), AP Nelson (A Itunu 59), E Blackwell, K Wills, L Bremner, L Elder, D Faleafaga.
Yellow card: Alana Bremner 51-61
Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron (SARU)