Women's Touch Blacks Overview

Photography by 'Capture the Event'

Women's Touch Blacks Strong in Brave Loss

Touch World Cup 2011 – Women’s Open Final

New Zealand defeated by Australia 3-5

The Women’s Touch Blacks proved that they could match it with Australia earlier in the tournament but would need to play out of their skins to take the Gold today. They couldn't quite manage the feat but did New Zealand proud in a brilliant effort.

The Touch Blacks got just the start that they were looking for when Tyla Nathan-Wong scored after a penalty gave them good field position and Niall Williams was able to break the defensive line and get the pass to her teammate.Australia then replied with two cracks at the New Zealand line with no luck. The Touch Blacks were also held out, but the next time the Aussie had a chance they managed to even the scores. Two more Touchdowns followed quickly followed and a decent lead was established by Australia.With the clock ticking down to halftime Williams was again in the action; a skilful lateral passing movement gave her an opportunity and she dived between two defenders to score. Her shoulder was injured in the process of her heroics though and she was assisted off the field but was able to return later in the match.The second half began with no team able to create a scoring opportunity in eight minutes of play. Australia finally broke through with two Touchdowns, the first out wide and the second a classy move that featured quick hands across the face for Kristy Judd to score.Megan Campbell finished her World Cup with a Touchdown for New Zealand and with four minutes to go there was still time to force a drop off but Australia held on held on for the 5-3 World Cup win.The Women’s Touch Blacks continue to improve and their matches against Australia this tournament have been the closest in many years. With next year’s Trans Tasman Series on the horizon they are definitely tracking well for their next encounter.


Day 4
defeated England 13-1
defeated South Africa 7-0

Two afternoon matches provided a good work-out for the Women's Touch Blacks, who defeated England 13-1 and South Africa 7-0. Courtney Chapman has now amassed an impressive 16 Touchdowns and will be looking to cross the line for more in the Semi Final against Singapore and likely Final encounter with Australia.

Constant rain made for tricky playing conditions against South Africa. After a slow start, Hannah Brand scored the first Touchdown in the corner before both teams began using drive plays backwards and forwards up the field to try and establish scoring opportunities.Finally some space was created for Chyna Hohepa to get outside of her marker for the second score. Keisha Grant followed up to step back and scored between the middles and not long after Mere Nock scooped and passed off to Kahurangi Watene for the third.

Play resumed after a South African collision injury and Conal Grant threw a longball for Robyna Hokai to score. New Zealand continued to find its rhythm in the second half and played some impressive Touch in the 7-0 win.

Earlier in the day, they used the match against England to work on structure, subbing and the 'basics'. The Touch Blacks still thought they had room for improvement despite the 13-1 win.

Day 3
defeated France 21-0
defeated by Australia 5-9
defeated Wales 7-1

It was a big day for the Women's Touch Blacks as it featured a match-up against Australia that would be a true Test. First up for the Women today though was France and as expected after only playing one match yesterday, they started full of energy.

Tyla Nathan-Wong was in the action, at one point producing a brilliant longball to Hollie Gray who made no mistake in scoring. The 11-0 halftime lead was impressive but more so was second half performance that saw some great flow by the Touch Blacks and patient attack. Rachel Stephenson was another standout player in the 21-0 victory.

It was then onto the big one against Australia. In a high-paced affair, the Women took a 5-4 lead into half time with second-woman plays creating excellent Touchdowns. Candis Cardie, Niall Williams, Gray, Megan Campbell and Courtney Chapman all scored and New Zealand were well in the hunt.

Australia had success with the longball in the first half and continued their up-temp play in the second, eventually overcoming the Touch Blacks 9-5. Anything can happen come the Finals and New Zealand will be looking to continue to build towards Sunday for a probable rematch.

After the disappointment of the loss to Australia NZ bounced back for a win over Wales by 7-1. It is always difficult to get up for a game after such an epic encounter against the Australians. A solid performance with NZ doing what they had to do to secure the win.

Day 2
Singapore 13-0

It was a comparatively easy outing for the Women's Touch Blacks today in Edinburgh. Only one match to play and against a team that they had already defeated.

Singapore were the lucky/unlucky team and New Zealand ran in thirteen Touchdowns with Robyna Hokai, Candice Cardie, Megan Campbell and Hollie Gray all bagging doubles.

Friday will be a different story as the Touch Blacks will come up against France, Wales and Trans Tasman rivals, Australia.

Day 1
defeated Austria 25-2
Singapore 15-0
defeated Japan 13-0

Like the Men's Touch Blacks, the first opponent for the Women's team at this World cup was Austria. Two minutes into match and three Touchdowns were scored by New Zealand in an impressive opening salvo. Tyla Nathan-Wong, the Touch Blacks youngest player was in the action early along with Niall Williams who made a strong return to international Touch.

The Austrian's had difficulty holding onto the ball and regularly turned it over in the slippery conditions. New Zealand had sticky fingers and created numerous chances that were converted on most occasions.

The step back plays used by the Touch Blacks worked a treat with holes popping up across the field. Williams finished the match with six Touchdowns, while Rachel Stephenson, Kahureremoa Peina and Courtney Chapman all nabbing hattricks in the 25-2 victory.

Next up was Singapore; the opening was an even one with both teams completing their settles well and Singapore showing good structure.

As the game wore on however the class of the Touch Blacks began to shine through and Touchdowns game at regular intervals. Singapore couldn't keep up with the pace of the New Zealanders and unforced errors started to enter their game.

New Zealand moved the ball quickly, drew in the defence and were able to find space to score, eventually winning 15-0 with Chapman and Candcie Cardie scoring seven Touchdowns between them.

The Women's final match of the day was another shut-out victory. Japan played strongly with good organisation but couldn't break the NZ line. The Touch Blacks managed 13 Touchdowns and finished Day 1 content with their overall play.