The Kiwi Ferns have kicked their World Cup campaign off with an 88-0 win over France in Dewsbury, UK.
New Zealand's world champion women's rugby league team had six players on debut and the youngest of them, Amber Hall, really impressed.
Amber, who is not long out of Auckland Girls' Grammar School, is a front rower who has been described by her coach Lynley Tierney-Mani as a mix of Ben Matulino and Johnathan Thurston.
"When she had the ball, Amber could pull in up to seven French tacklers at a time," said Tierney-Mani.
"But if things got too busy she could also hit her outsides with perfect cut-out passes."
One player to benefit from the quality service Amber and the forwards provided was Honey Hireme. The Kiwi Ferns captain, who is affectionately known as 'Honey Bill' due to her Sonny Bill Williams-like skillset, scored five tries in the centres.
Hireme was the only player not to travel to the UK with her teammates, as she was in Moscow winning the rugby union 7s World Cup title with the Black Ferns.
Kahurangi Peters was another on debut to catch the eye. "She was running some unbelievable lines," said Tierney-Mani. Kahurangi's big sister Rona Peters was named the players' player of the day.
Among the high-profile faces in the crowd at Dewsbury were Sir Owen Glenn, along with the professional players Rangi Chase, from Castleford, and Ali Lauitiiti, from Wakefield.
The Kiwi Ferns stayed on at the ground in Dewsbury to watch the Australian and English women in their pool match. The Australians won 14-6.
The Kiwi Ferns face England next, starting at 7am (NZ-time) on Tuesday.
The women's World Cup final is on July 14 at Headingley, Leeds.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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