Sport | France

'Best Kiwi Ferns ever' get their French hens in a row - commentator

With their huge score line over France (Les Chanticleers) in the women's Rugby League World Cup opener yesterday, the Kiwi Ferns may prove to have the makings to upset defending champions, Australia.

Māori language commentator Patara Berryman believes that with Dally M medal winner Raecene McGregor and Apii Nichols' outstanding performances against the French, the 24 women currently representing this nation in the UK is the best and strongest fielded so far, and have what it takes to upset the neighbours across the Ditch.

"Our girls are capable of beating the Jillaroos but doing that is another story. If the stars are aligned correctly, if the ducks are in a row, they can do it."

Women's rugby league off to a flying start in the UK!

New Zealand faces the Cook Islands on Monday morning, who come off a 76-nil loss to the Jillaroos.  While the Cook Islands Moana may be hoping to improve their performance against the Kiwi Ferns, Berryman believes it's not likely.

"They face a very strong Kiwi Ferns line-up, with most having played in the NRLW. It's going to be very tough for the Cooks Islands to upset our team, I do feel for them."

Meanwhile, Australia is scheduled to meet France on Monday for their Round 2 matchup.

For the men's side, the Kiwis face Fiji Bati in quarter-final action on Sunday morning. Both teams have scored highly and near-identical in pool play, with 132 points for Fiji and the Kiwis 150 points.

Berryman says Fiji is more than capable of being the "upset" that no one saw coming in the Rugby League World Cup if they beat the Kiwis.

"But just like the Kiwi Ferns, the Kiwis have depth and NRL experience in their squad. But they can't be complacent, they need to stay focused and stick to the game plan. If they can do that, no doubt they'll secure the win."