Black Ferns win but Canada show their class
The Black Ferns won their fourth test in two weeks today, but had a real fight on their hands against Canada before winning 33-21 in Whakatane.
It was the second match of their series against the North Americans, having defeated them 16-8 in Tauranga on Tuesday. The week before they beat Australia 38-3 and Samoa 90-12.
In the men's game, a test between Canada and New Zealand should always be a one-sided contest, but in the women's game Canada are a tougher proposition as their win over Australia last week testified.
The hosts jumped out to an early 26-0 lead, with Fiao'o Fa'amausili, Huriana Manuel, Shakira Baker and Renee Wickliffe all crossing for tries.
But later in the opening half Canadian fullback Elissa Alarie intercepted a New Zealand pass at the Kiwi's 22m line and went the length of the pitch for the tourists' first points of the match.
The conversion from Magali Harvey made it 26-7 at the half.
New Zealand opened the second half with a try just three minutes in, Kelly Brazier reclaiming the 26-point lead.
Harvey, a Canada Sevens player, then showed off her speed and footwork by beating two defenders down the sideline to bring Canada within 19 points.
With head coach Francois Ratier making six second-half substitutions, Canada were able to charge forward.
Hilary Leith touched down for her first try of the tour and Harvey's third conversion of the match made it a 33-21 game.
The match was the final tune-up for both countries before this summers' Women's Rugby World Cup in France.
New Zealand are in the same pool as Ireland, USA and Kazakhstan, with their first match being against the Asian nation on August 1. The final will take place on August 17.