Wallaroos looking for response after disappointing Black Ferns defeat

Wed, Jul 5, 2023, 6:12 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson

Wallaroos assistant coach Scott Fava is calling for the team to sharpen their preparation as they bounce back from last week's thumping defeat to the Black Ferns.

The side was shutout 50-0 in Redcliffe last week, settling in Canada ahead of Sunday's clash with the USA.

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“We want to see a reaction and a response,” Fava said to the media.

“A big part of that response is seeing them take everything that we’ve installed in them into action. If those girls are able to do that, it’ll go a long way towards securing their spot.

“That’s the beauty of what we’ve set up. Every Tuesday allows you to either get yourself in or out of the team…it should really spark up some fire under everyone’s belly.”

Fava was left disappointed by their finish to the first half as the world champions blew them out.

Three tries in 13 minutes allowed the Kiwis to take the game away from them after a competitive first quarter, compounded by Mererangi Paul's second following the break.

“It’s looking at making sure the behaviour we showed in the first 20 minutes of the game needs to be sustained," he explained.

“We had it there in terms of defence, getting off the line and making our tackles to put the Black Ferns which we did. Attack, it’s about getting around the corner and winning the race, finding the right people.

“I think once the pressure came on us, the Black Ferns were able to dominate in the second part of the first half and that set the platform for their performance.

“Leading into this USA game, we have to maintain that fight and ensure these behaviours in terms of attack/defence continue on for (the first) 40 minutes and that can lay the platform for the rest of the game.”

The match against the USA will likely decide the makeup of the inaugural WXV, with the top three qualifying for WXV 1 whilst fourth will play in WXV 2.

Both teams are coming off heavy defeats in the opening round of the Pac-Four, with the Americans dominated 50-17 by Canada when the tournament kicked off in April.

“We’ve got to look at their strengths which are their power game. They’ve got big girls that can generate momentum for them across the park," Fava added.

“They’ve also got a set-piece that they’re working on and putting a lot of trust into…they apply constant pressure at the ruck which was a big area that we lost around the tackle contest and making sure our two supporting players weren’t getting into position.

“If we do that against the USA, they will exploit that so that has been a focus.”

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