New Zealand's Portia Woodman scores a try against Wales
Auckland (AFP) - Hosts New Zealand unleashed a high-octane attacking style to beat Wales 56-12 in a one-sided women’s Rugby World Cup match in Auckland on Sunday.
Prolific winger Portia Woodman scored two of New Zealand’s 10 tries as the defending champions remained unbeaten after two rounds of matches.
Canada also made it two wins from two when they beat Italy 22-12 earlier on Sunday. Favourite England defeated France 13-7 on Saturday for their second win.
Playing with attacking intent and a willingness to offload passes rather than kick, the Black Ferns had too much speed and skill for a Welsh side who had beaten Scotland 18-15 last week.
There were doubles for 18-year-old centre Sylvia Brunt and Woodman, who lifted her extraordinary career tally to 36 tries in 22 Tests.
Wales crossed at the end of each half through Ffion Lewis and captain Siwan Lillicrap but, aside from a dominant scrum, they were outclassed in most departments.
New Zealand captain Ruahei Demant said her side ahd improved from last week’s tournament-opening 41-7 defeat of Australia.
“I’m proud of the way the team bounced back from last week,” said Demant, who was among the try-scorers and made eight offloads.
“We weren’t happy with the way we started the tournament and so to come up here and apply ourselves mentally, I’m pleased with the way we played to the spaces that we saw.”
Woodman is the tournament’s joint top try scorer with five level with Canadian hooker Emily Tuttosi, who scored twice in Canada’s forward-based win over the fifth-ranked Italians.
Down 5-0 after conceding a try to fullback Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi in 31 seconds, the Canucks took control up front, launching a series of ferocious forward drives.
Canada's Paige Farries celebrates after scoring a try against Italy
Tuttosi was the beneficiary, adding to the hat-trick she scored in last week’s big win over Japan.
Canada captain Sophie de Goede believed her forwards would continue to be a weapon at the tournament.
“They are just so technically sound and they’re powerful and athletic,” said the No.8.
“We work really well as a unit and all those parts make the difference.
“This win is massive. We came here wanting to win the World Cup and the first step is to get wins and bonus points.”
Italy’s classy backs were starved of the possession they had enjoyed in last week’s 22-10 win over the United States, only scoring again in the final minute, through Elisa Giordano.
Canada’s other tries went to centre Sara Kalijuvee and speedy winger Paige Farries, who has six tries in her last four Tests, including a double when Canada beat Italy 34-24 in July.
South Africa play Fiji in Sunday’s final game.