Big wins for Samoa and Black Ferns Development XV at Oceania Women's Championship

There were wins for the New Zealand Blacks Ferns Development XV and Samoa in a truncated opening round of the Oceania Rugby Women's Championship 2019 in Lautoka, Fiji.

Samoa began their bid to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2021 as winners of the Oceania Rugby Women's Championship in style with an emphatic 65-12 win over Papua New Guinea in Lautoka, Fiji, on Monday.

With Tonga's match against Australia A in round one cancelled on health grounds and declared a draw and Fiji losing to the Black Ferns Development XV, Samoa are setting the early pace in the race among the four non-qualified teams for the ticket to New Zealand.

Full-back Saelua Leaula and winger Apaau Mailau both grabbed hat-tricks for Manusina in a solid display that will have pleased head coach Ramsey Tomokino, especially with a crunch match against Fijiana coming up on Friday.

Impressive second-row Maria Jacinta Ausai and Billy-Jean Ale added their names to the scoresheet and the new-look Manusina were also awarded a penalty try.

Papua New Guinea, who were 44-0 down at half-time, never gave up and scored two tries of their own. Full-back Fatima Rama showed every bit of her blistering pace to get the Palais on the board with an 80-metre try on the hour mark, before adding another with five minutes to go.

The highest placed of the non-qualified teams at the end of the 12-day long competition will join the eight teams who have already confirmed their presence at RWC 2021. Samoa are top on five points with Tonga second on two. Fiji and PNG have yet to get off the mark.

Fijiana geared up for Friday

In a contest every bit as one-sided as the first, the Black Ferns Development XV despatched Fijiana 53-0 in the second match of the day. 

Canterbury centre Grace Brooker cemented her reputation as one of New Zealand rugby's hottest prospects with an influential try-scoring display and several other players put their hands up for senior selection in the emphatic win.

A brace of tries were scored by Natahlia Moors and Leilani Perese, with Joanah Ngan-Woo, Lauren Balsillie and Hazel Tubic also adding their names to the list.
 
Fijiana captain Sereima Leweniqila said that the team expected it to be tough with so many new players coming up against class opposition.
 
“We were trying to work on our set pieces and our defensive line. All of this is really a psyching up to the game on Friday, which is the Rugby World Cup qualifying one,” Leweniqila said.
 
“The main focus on Friday is to come away with a win and hopefully we can do that.”

A top-seven finish at the last Rugby World Cup in Ireland two years ago guaranteed New Zealand, England, USA, France, Canada, Australia and Wales their place, while South Africa became the first regional qualifier back in August. 

Last updated: Nov 19, 2019 9:23:23 AM
Jo Yapp of England
Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby Women-news-coach
Jo Yapp planning for the long-term at Worcester Warriors Women
Jo Yapp talks to World Rugby about her promotion at Worcester, working with the Barbarians and her coaching philosophy.
Kazakhstan's Anastassiya Khamova
Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby
Kazakhstan women aiming for Rugby World Cup return
Once one of the leading women’s teams in international rugby, Kazakhstan are attempting to mount a revival in 15s rugby.
Portia Woodman - Sao Paulo Sevens
Olympics Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby Women-news-sevens
Commentator Rikki Swannell picks seven women who helped change the face of rugby sevens
Sky Sports Rugby commentator Rikki Swannell picks seven players who embody the growth that women’s sevens has made since the inaugural World Rugby Sevens Series.
Elaine Vassie
Women's News Women in Rugby women-news-power Women-news-coach
Elaine Vassie putting down roots with the Dallas Jackals
Dallas Jackals assistant general manager and assistant coach Elaine Vassie talks to World Rugby about her new life in the USA, where she is helping the game to flourish.
HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens 2019
Feature News Women in Rugby Women-news-coach
Chiharu Nakamura takes on new challenge to grow women’s game in Japan
Japan sevens star Chiharu Nakamura has taken on the role of player/general manager for a brand-new club in Fukuoka, eager to create more opportunities for women’s rugby in the country and a career pathway when the time comes for players to hang up their boots.
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series logo for generic releases
Media release Sevens News Tournament News Women in Rugby mz-advisory Challenger Series
New Zealand awarded titles as HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 concluded
The remaining rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Zealand All Blacks School Visit
Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby Women-news-coach
Melissa Ruscoe ready for next step on rugby journey
Melissa Ruscoe, who captained New Zealand in both rugby and football, talks to World Rugby about her career and coaching ambitions.
Chloe Hill-Huse
Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby women-news-regions Women-news-coach
Chloe Hill-Huse on developing as both a player and official in Canadian rugby
Canada U18 hooker and certified referee Chloe Hill-Huse is keen to emulate compatriot Julianne Zussman’s success.
WRWC 2017: Final - England v New Zealand
Women's Rugby World Cup News Tournament News Women in Rugby women-news-2021
Rugby World Cup: The story so far
World Rugby takes a stroll down memory lane to look back at the eight previous women’s editions of Rugby World Cup.
Ricardo Ramirez
Women's News Women in Rugby women-news-regions Women-news-coach
Coach Ricardo Ramirez working hard to develop female rugby talent in USA
USA women’s U20s head coach Ricardo Ramirez discusses the growth of female age-grade rugby and helping to provide a pathway for future test stars.