Black Ferns at crossroads after whitewash

DAVID LONG TWICKENHAM
Last updated 05:00 03/12/2012

Relevant offers

International

The good, the bad and the rugby dilemmas facing All Blacks coach Steve Hansen Pan-American Six Nations rugby planned for 2016 launch Queensland Reds dispute Quade Cooper's Toulon signing Michael Cheika admits Matt Giteau's on his radar for Wallabies selection Sir Clive Woodward urges England to relax rugby eligibility rules Winston Stanley heads to England with Harlequins deal 'Dominant' Matt Giteau would be World Cup boost for Wallabies, says team-mate Sir John Kirwan: All Black jersey still has the aura to keep players in New Zealand Fritz Lee a finalist for European rugby's player of the year award ARU still fighting to keep Wallaby Quade Cooper

While the New Zealand's women's sevens team were reaching new heights yesterday by winning the IRB tournament in Dubai, 7000km away at Twickenham the women's XV team sunk to a new low.

The Black Ferns lost 32-23 to England, thus completing an embarrassing whitewash.

Women's rugby in New Zealand stands at a crossroads.

Either money and resources are injected into the main form of the game, in time for the 2014 World Cup in France, or the NZRU turns its back completely and focuses on sevens in search of a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Yesterday's test at England's rugby HQ was similar to the previous losses in Esher and Aldershot, the Black Ferns were competitive but England had more structure to their game and were able to go up another level when required.

Rawina Everitt, Selica Winiata and Kendra Cocksedge scored the Black Ferns' tries while Katherine Merchant (twice), Emily Scarratt, Rosemarie Crowley and Joanne Watmore bagged England's five pointers.

"It was disappointing obviously," said Black Ferns coach Brian Evans.

"We played some nice rugby but we missed too many first-up tackles and that killed us."

Next year England will play three tests in New Zealand, but they are the only games on the Black Ferns' schedule.

The NZRU has continually taken the Black Ferns domination for granted and they sent them away for this series without any warm-up games and they hadn't played together for a year before this trip.

"We haven't been good enough and they've been better than us for sure, but in the next year or so we'll be up there."

But that will depend on whether the country's best players choose to play XVs or go for gold with sevens, which was the case with some for this tour.

"There are some players there that we'd dearly love to have," Evans said.

In Dubai, the New Zealand women's sevens team beat South Africa 41-0 in the final having already defeated Australia 28-14 and England 31-0 in their semifinal and quarterfinal respectively.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the better Springboks lock?

Bakkies Botha

Victor Matfield

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content