Sport | Black Ferns

Black Ferns prepped for fast and physical French threat in semi Rugby World Cup clash

The Black Ferns are hoping to continue their winning ways as they gear up for semi-finals action in the Rugby World Cup.

They return to Eden Park tomorrow, where their fiery performance in their first match against Australia was on full display four weeks ago.

Putting their victory over Wales last weekend behind them, tomorrow is a chance at retribution for the Ferns when they face France, a team that beat them twice on the Ferns’ end-of-year northern hemisphere tour last year.

Black Ferns centre Stacey Fluhler (Ngāi Tūhoe) talked to teaomā about the "big battle" coming their way tomorrow.

“[France] is a physical team, so we need to match it and, if not, be better.”

Last week Fluhler said her team’s forward pack needed to step up against Wales – they answered the challenge and more to help the Ferns to victory, 55-3.

The Ferns are ready for the French this Saturday.

Four losses to France

Even though there are some things refined during training, the Te Ao Toa presenter says that same energy will be needed even more against France.

“We’ve still got a few bits and pieces that we can still work on, especially in the breakdown area. We need to be faster to clean out our ruck so we can get clean ball from our halfback.”

Fluhler says players in the No.4 world-ranked French side love a fast-paced game and have a hard-to-break defence, making them a well-all-rounded team to face. In fact, the past four meetings between them have gone to the French, the last game won by the Ferns happening back in November 2018.

“We know exactly who their game drivers are, who we need to stop, to stop their momentum and the control of the game. If we can play faster than them I think we may come out on top.

“We’ve just got to stay in it mentally and physically for the full 80 minutes.

“We haven’t beaten them in the past four outings but something is coming. I’m so excited to see what we can bring out onto the field tomorrow night.”