Canada v NZ - Women's Super Series 2019

June 28 2019

Elissa Alarie - RWC 2017

Canada Fall to NZ 35-20: Elissa Alarie Receives Plaudits in NZ Press

NZ won the match 4 tries to 2. Canada's tries were by Westshore's Elissa Alarie and CW's Sophie de Goede. Both teams looked rusty with plenty of handling errors but defenses were vigorous. The HT score was 20-13 for NZ.

NZ scored first in the second half off an angled run from their #12 off first phase ball from their scrum. Canada's second try was well worked with multiple phases inside NZ's 22, going wide when needed but eventually punching it over through the forwards with Sophie de Goede providing the final touch. That made it 27-20 for NZ, they would add a try and a penalty to finish out the match.

As mentioned in the NZ report Canada's lineout throwing in the 2nd half hurt their momentum but a -15 result against the World Champions is a positive platform to build on for the rest of this series and a good report card midway in the world cup cycle.

It was interesting watching Sara Kaljuvee at #12 coming in from the 7s program, you could see some of the adjustments required in adapting to the XVs game. She tried to do too much at the breakdown on occasion and found herself on the wrong side of the ruck off her feet and picking up a penalty. In 7s the breakdown has far fewer players involved and has a different dynamic. She also missed tracking her opposite number on NZ's 3rd try when their #12 took an angled run at the ball. Small differences in the two codes show up at the highest level.

Ellisa Alarie received plaudits from the commentators and from two separate NZ sources. High praise indeed when NZ opposition gives you a shout out. From "Elissa Alarie was outstanding every time she touched the ball, scoring one try and going close to another". From "Elissa Alarie goes on another massive run. This girl is amazing with ball in hand."


New Zealand's Black Ferns got the workout they needed when beating Canada 35-20 in their opening game of the Women's Rugby Super Series in San Diego on Saturday.

Being their first Test match of the season there was some rustiness about the world champions and Canada worked them hard throughout. New Zealand's experienced core of blindside flanker Charmaine McMenamin, second five-eighths Chelsea Alley and halfback Kendra Cocksedge were each prominent in denying the Canadians more impact.

They needed to as Canada wing Elissa Alarie was outstanding every time she touched the ball, scoring one try and going close to another. However, lineout throwing issues in the breeze in the second half reduced Canada's opportunities and it was the New Zealanders who finished stronger.

The Black Ferns looked to attack from the outset and it was only faulty handling and passing that prevented their scoring their first try before the ninth minute. When they did score it was on the back of good work by the forwards who built from a lineout drive to pressure the line and after prop Aleisha-Pearl Nelson drove at the line, it was lock Eloise Blackwell who picked the ball up and scored.

Canada made good use of a midfield tighthead to move the ball downfield with fullback Irene Patrinos making good ground to set up a ruck. When the ball was moved left, No.8 Gabrielle Senft made a telling break into space and then fed the ball to Alarie who cut back on a perfect angle to take the cover defence out of action and run in to score beneath the posts.

Into the second quarter, the New Zealanders attempted to up the tempo and fullback Selica Winiata and right wing Renee Wickliffe combined to take the ball down the right flank. The ball was moved left from the ruck where the outstanding figure of the first half blindside McMenamin broke into a gap to take play to Canada's line.

Quick ball from the ruck saw Alley move the ball on to wing Carla Hohepa to score out wide. Cocksedge added a fine wide conversion and added two penalty goals before the break, in response to two landed by her opposite Brianna Miller.

Starting the second half strongly, the Black Ferns missed an early opportunity from a lineout close to the line but in subsequent play they built off an incorrect throw by the Canadians to work a scrum move with debutant No.8 Pia Tapsell feeding Cocksedge.

The halfback ran across field to feed a reverse pass to Alley. Running a good angle she was into space to score in the 44th minute. It was reward for good work done late in the first half by Alley who made some strong breaks.

Canada came back, initially after Black Ferns first five-eighths Ruahei Demant kick to the line was run back out from Canada's line after Alley was taken out of play in attempting to follow through, but the match officials made no call.

Patrinos ran the ball out and with quick support, the Canadians worked their way back downfield. Eventually they got into the Black Ferns' 22m are and they showed impressive continuity among backs and forwards to keep the ball alive and eventually it was lock Sophie de Goede who scored.

The Black Ferns returned the favour, however and in the 60th minute, their own continuity play resulted in the opportunity being provided when Demant set up a ruck from which quick ball saw Winiata clear the ball to wing Ayesha Leti-l'iga who had to work hard to twist and turn in the tackle to score.


Black Ferns 35 (Eloise Blackwell, Carla Hohepa, Chelsea Alley, Ayesha Leti-l'iga tries; Kendra Cocksedge 3 con, 3 pen)

Canada 20 (Elissa Alarie, Sophie de Goede tries; Brianna Miller 2 con, 2 pen). HT: 20-13

Play by play from


FULLTIME - The Black Ferns have come out on top in their first test of 2019. They beat Canada 35-20 in San Diego, which is probably a fair result in the end. New Zealand were pushed to the limit, but errors let them down. Black Ferns are back in action on Wednesday against the USA. A match wrap to come very shortly.

78mins - Sadly, for the Canadians, Gillian Boag overthrows the ball and the Black Ferns get it back.

76mins - Elissa Alarie goes on another massive run. This girl is amazing with ball in hand. Sadly, she can't find support and the Black Ferns get the ball, but play is called back for a penalty, and Canada have a line out 15 out from the line.

74mins - Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu also makes her Black Ferns debut, replacing Kendra Cocksedge, while Krysten Cottrell on for Ruahei Demant.

71mins - PENALTY GOAL BLACK FERNS - Cocksedge lands her third penalty goal of the night and that will be game over.

70mins - Penalty to New Zealand and they want to go for goal here. If the kick goes over, that means they'll hold a 15 point lead with less than 10 to play.

67mins - Canada get some good attacking ball, but they are forced into an error with some strong New Zealand defence.

66mins - The Black Ferns make a host of changes with Marcelle Parkes on for Les Elder and Alena Saili on for Selica Winiata. While Karli Faneva has just entered the game in her Black Ferns debut for Eloise Blackwell, while Leilani Perese replaces Aleisha-Pearl Nelson.

64mins - Play resumes and Canada's restart doesn't go 10m, so its a penalty to the Black Ferns, but Cocksedge's kick-to-touch doesn't go out, and Elissa Alarie goes on the counter-attack.

62mins - Time for a water break.

61mins - TRY BLACK FERNS - Ayesha Leti-I'iga is rewarded with a try. The winger has been great today. She gets the ball about 10m from the line and carries Irene Patrinos to the line with her. Cocksedge misses the coversion, so the Black Ferns lead 32-20.

60mins - Twenty minutes remain in San Diego, New Zealand lead by seven and they're looking for their fourth try of the game. They're about 10 out from the line.

57mins - TRY CANADA - After some hard work, lock Sophie De Goede crashes over the line. That is a great work by the Canadians. Miller lands the conversion and its a seven-point game.

54mins - Canada back with the ball but they can't crack the New Zealand defence, but they're edging closer and closer.

52mins - Now Canada are hot on the attack and they're just 10 out from the line, but the ball is turned over and Kendra Cocksedge smashes the ball into touch.

50mins - Another scrum to the Black Ferns. Once again, they look to up the tempo.

48mins - The Black Ferns are hot on the attack against and they try a cheeky kick forward, but nobody chases and Paige Farrie runs the ball back.

45mins - TRY BLACK FERNS - Chelsea Alley scores New Zealand's third try of the game off a set piece. Kendra Cocksedge gets the ball from the scrum and throws the ball to Alley, who runs a great line to score. Cocksedge lands the conversion. New Zealand lead 27-13.

43mins - Weird passage of play as the Black Ferns look to throw the ball out wide, but Cocksedge throws the ball, and it hits Tapsell in the head and goes forward.

41mins - Fullback Winiata goes close to scoring in the corner, but some desperation defence prevents her from scoring.

40mins - The second half is underway. This time New Zealand get us udnerway, and the ball goes into touch, off a Canadian hand.

HALFTIME - In a topsy-turvy first half, the Black Ferns hold a 20-13 lead at halftime. The Black Ferns have outscored Canada two tries to one, with both teams slotting two penalty goals.

41mins - PENALTY GOAL BLACK FERNS - Cocksedge lands the goal, and New Zealand now lead 20-13 as the halftime siren sounds.

40mins - All of a sudden, New Zealand are inside Canada's 22. Ayesha Leti-I'iga goes on a big run and finds her forwards in support. New Zealand get a penalty and they'll go for goal.

38mins - Selica Winiata takes a rare mark. You don't often see that in footy nowadays. They clear the ball and now Canada are on the attack, but there is a knock on at the breakdown.

37mins - PENALTY GOAL BLACK FERNS - New Zealand land their first penalty goal of the afternoon. The lead is now 17-13.

35mins - The Black Ferns are trying to up the tempo right now and they're putting the Canadians under pressure. They win a penalty near the posts and now Cocksedge will go for goal.

33mins - PENALTY GOAL CANADA - Miller lands her third goal of the day and New Zealand now lead by one, 14-13.

32mins - Another penalty to Canada and they will have another shot at goal. This attempt will be about 15m closer.

31mins - The line out throw isn't straight and Canada have a scrum.

30mins - Canada look lively here. They put in a cheeky kick over the top of the defensive line and Alarie regathers but goes into touch.

28mins - PENALTY GOAL CANADA - Halfback Miller, converts the penalty goal, and the Black Ferns lead is now 14-10.

27mins - From the ensuing scrum, a penalty is called, and Canada will have a shot at goal.

26mins - The Black Ferns look to run the ball out of their half Ruahei Demant makes a break, but her offload to Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamat is dropped.

24mins - TRY NEW ZEALAND - New Zealand have their second as centre Carla Hohepa dives over in the corner. Cocksedge lands the tough conversion and New Zealand now lead 14-7.

22mins - Errors are hurting both teams right now. Both teams are getting chances, but nothing is coming from them. The latest mistake was an error from Canadia centre Sara Kaljuvee, meaning a scrum to New Zealand inside their half.

20mins - Time is off for a drinks break. Seems rather odd considering its only 22 degress in Dan Diego right now. Play resumes with a line out to Canada.

19mins - But now Canada make a mistake and hand the ball straight back to New Zealand.

17mins - Canada starting to build some momentum now. A knock on by Eloise Blackwell gifts Canada a scum just inside their half.

15mins - TRY CANADA - Just like that, Canada hit back through Elissa Alarie. That was a stunning try as Alarie uses her speed and footwork to bamboozle the Black Ferns to score under the posts. Brianna Miller lands the conversion, and the scores are locked at 7-7.

14mins - Canada finally get some attacking ball, but the Black Ferns' defence holds firm.

12mins - A line-out throw from Canada isn't straight, and NZ will get the scrum feed.

10mins - TRY BLACK FERNS - Eloise Blackwell goes over for the first try of the game. After winning a penalty, the Kiwis girls take a quick tap and lock Blackwell crashes over the line. A well-deserved five-pointer after dominating the opening 10 minutes of the game. Kendra Cocksedge slots the conversion, so New Zealand lead 7-0.

9mins - Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate throws the ball to Eloise Blackwell and New Zealand drive closer to the line, and they're about five out from the line.

8mins - Penalty to New Zealand as Canada is pinged for not rolling away at the breakdown - I think it was Fabiola Forteza. The Black Ferns kick the ball to touch.

5mins - Another scrum to Canada after a forward pass was called. The Canadians kick the ball away but it goes straight to Selica Winiata who carries the ball back.

3mins - New Zealand get the ball back almost straight away. They look threatening early on.

2mins - The Black Ferns win the scrum, and they get the ball straight into Canada's 22. They look to spread the ball, and they get close to the line, before Les Elder spills the ball forward.

KICK OFF - We are underway in San Diego and it is a bad start for Ca

Canada Name Team to Face NZ on Friday 4pm PT: Live Stream is on Paid Subscription Website

The good news is the match will be streamed live on Friday, the bad news is it's a pay per view service ( that will cost you $30 per month to view (we assume that's USD).

The starting roster for Canada is below, the write up from the NZRU is appended below that. Rugby Canada posted the starting roster on social media but didn't write up an article on their website.

A couple of interesting selection and non-selections. Sophie de Goede gets the start at second row, she was also named in the Canada U20 squad touring to the UK later in July. Sara Kaljuvee from the 7s squad gets the start in the centres, she was the only player the NZ write up mentioned in their "one to watch". A couple of prominent players not playing in this match Amanda Thornborough in the centres and Tyson Beukeboom in the second row, expect to see them in later matches. Elissa Alarie and Paige Fairries who usually play #10 and centre in BC Premier club rugby for Westshore are both on the wing in this match.

It will be a stiff test for Canada against the World Cup champions and one of the favourites going into the tournament.

from NZ Rugby -

The Black Ferns get their Women’s Rugby Super Series campaign underway when they take on Canada in San Diego on Saturday morning (NZT).

MATCH DETAILS: Black Ferns vs Canada, 11am Saturday 29 June NZT, Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Centre, San Diego.

The Women’s Rugby Super Series brings together the world’s top five teams for a round-robin tournament across five competition dates in the greater San Diego area. It’s the first time in three years that the event has taken place and its increased from four teams to five. Two games will be played per day and the tournament will take place at two venues. The opening few games will be at the Elite Athlete Training Centre, which is the home of the USA men and women’s Sevens teams. The final round will be at Torero Stadium.

After turning heads for North Harbour in the Farah Palmer Cup last year with her dynamic ball-running, No.8 Pia Tapsell has been named to make her Test debut against Canada. The highly-skilled 20-year-old topped the try-scoring chart for North Harbour last year and will be one to watch with ball in hand says coach Glenn Moore. “She’s a very physical player and a good ball carrier. She came through strongly in the Barbarians match and deserves her start,” says Moore.

Waikato duo Carla Hohepa and Toka Natua return to the Black Ferns for the first time since the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup final. Centre Hohepa is returning to the game after having a baby while Natua took time out of the game after starring in the 2017 World Cup. Coach Glenn Moore said the pair add plenty of experience and proven talent to the side. “"Carla is a very experienced player and we've always believed she is world class. She's worked hard to get back in great physical shape and shown some good signs in all the lead-up games,” Moore said.

The Black Ferns will need to keep a close eye on Canadian mid-fielder Sara Kaljuvee. The diminutive 26-year-old has proven to be a game-breaker on the sevens circuit and has all the attributes to grow into a world class fifteens player. With strong ball-running, great stepping ability, superb ball skills and strong defence, Kalujuvee will be one of Canada’s key weapons at the Women’s Super Series.

The Black Ferns and Canada have met 14 times with the Black Ferns winning on each occasion.

If you are in New Zealand, tune into SKY Sport for live coverage of all matches (see schedule below). Fans outside of New Zealand can watch all matches through Flo Sports.

Black Ferns:
1. Toka Natua 2. Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate 3. Aleisha-Pearl Nelson 4. Eloise Blackwell 5. Charmaine Smith 6. Charmaine McMenamin 7. Les Elder (Captain, 13) 8. Pia Tapsell 9. Kendra Cocksedge (Vice captain) 10. Ruahei Demant 11. Ayesha Leti-I'iga 12. Chelsea Alley 13. Carla Hohepa 14. Renee Wickliffe 15. Selica Winiata (Vice captain)
Reserves: 16. Luka Connor 17. Phillipa Love 18. Leilani Perese / Olivia Ward-Duin 19. Karli Faneva 20. Marcelle Parkes 21. Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu 22. Krysten Cottrell 23. Alena Saili

1: Olivia DeMerchant, 2: Laura Russell (capt), 3: DaLeaka Menin, 4: Courtney Holtkamp, 5: Sophie De Goede, 6: Fabiola Forteza, 7: Janna Slevinky, 8: Gabrielle Senft, 9: Brianna Miller, 10: Alex Tessier, 11: Elissa Alarie, 12: Sara Kaljuvee, 13: Anais Holly, 14: Paige Farries, 15: Irene Patrinos
Reserves: Gillian Boag, Maude Laliberte, Veronica Harrigan, Jacey Grusnick, Abenakis de Sherbrooke, Sara Svoboda, Lori Josepheon, Alysha Corrigan

Black Ferns v Canada – Sat 29 June – 11am NZT, Sky Sport 1
Black Ferns v USA – Wed 3 July – 12.15pm NZT, Sky Sport 1
Black Ferns v France – Sun 7 July – 9.15am NZT, Sky Sport 1
Black Ferns v England – Mon 15 July – 8am NZT, Sky Sport 1

England v USA Sat 29 Jun – 7.50am Sky Sport Pop Up 1
France v Canada Wed 3 Jul – 9.05am Sky Sport 1
Canada v England Sun 7 Jul – 12.05pm Sky Sport 1
England v France Thu 11 Jul – 9.05am Sky Sport 1
Canada v USA Thu 11 Jul – 12.05pm Sky Sport 1
France v USA Mon 15 Jul – 10.50am Sky Sport 1

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