Black Ferns snatch last gasp win over England
A length of the field try capped off by Selica Winiata has seen the Black Ferns snatch a dramatic 14-9 victory over England in the second test of their three match series at Waikato Stadium tonight.
England had looked to have secured the win three minutes from time when Kate McLead nudged the visitors ahead before the world champions struck after the full time siren had sounded.
The Black Ferns suffered a setback when vice captain Victoria Grant withdrew prior to kickoff due to a injury she picked up pre game.
Both teams got off to a scrappy start but it was England who enjoyed their fair share of possession and territory in the opening exchanges.
The Red Roses were rewarded for their early efforts with a Katy McLean penalty as the Black Ferns continued to get hammered at the breakdown by referee Claire Daniels
Midway through the first half, the momentum swung the way of the Black Ferns when England's Jo McGilchrist was sin binned for a spear tackle on first five Kelly Brazier.
Despite being down a player England continued to look the more dangerous of the teams highlighted by a superb run by halfback Natasha Hunt.
In a rare moment for the hosts, Brazier did exceptionally well to break out from her own half eluding defenders to relieve some of the pressure on her side. Although just as the Black Ferns appeared to threaten, penalties at the breakdown would halt their progress.
The English scrum was a real weapon dominating their Kiwi counterparts at every chance while a second penalty to McLean capped off their first half effort.
It was a different story in the second half as winger Portia Woodman provided the best scoring chance when she went metres from scoring.
Second five Amiria Rule carried on her strong performance from the opening test with some lethal running while her defensive effort could not be faulted either.
The visitors found themselves on the back foot throughout most of the second spell as the Black Ferns managed to string together more phases and build on their attacking pressure.
Eventually the home side capitalised on their great play as fullback Selica Winiata sliced through the England defence before laying on the try for Woodman. While Brazier's conversion would hand the home side their first lead of the contest.
McLean's third penalty close from full time appeared to seal the win but it was the combination of Woodman, Rule and fullback Winiata that proved the difference in the end as they picked up the series victory.
Both teams will head to Pukekohe this weekend as the Black Ferns attempt to gain 3-0 series whitewash.
Black Ferns 14 (Portia Woodman, Selica Winiata tries; Kelly Brazier 2 con) England 9 (Kate McLean 3 pen) HT: 6-0