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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 20 February, 2019
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Wonderful Woodman lands eight tries as New Zealand smash triple figures in Hong Kong demolition

The game finished 121-0 as the four-time champions march on, truly enjoying their World Cup experience.

New Zealand 121

Hong Kong 0

Emma Duffy reports from Billings Park, UCD

WITH JUST 50 seconds on the clock, the result looked imminent as New Zealand sent out yet another harsh statement of intent through a mauling of Hong Kong in their World Cup Pool A clash.

Portia Woodman scored eight tries. Portia Woodman had a day to remember. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The scoreboard read 57-0 at half-time with nine tries landed, as the match turned into more of a numbers game than anything. Portia Woodman was the name on everyone’s lips at Billings Park, as she landed a remarkable eight tries.

Roars from the neutrals in the stands spurred Hong Kong on, as they showed true resilience to never give up despite the scoreline, and remarkable intensity of the Black Ferns.

From the word go, the four-time champions showed their intent and pure hunger to demolish the World Cup debutantes, sending out a strong message to the rest of the competition.

Carla Hohepa was first to cross the line with just under a minute on the clock, before Kendra Cocksedge made a positive start to a busy afternoon of kicking from the tee.

New Zealand perform the haka New Zealand perform the haka. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Their second try of the day came following a perfect cross-field pass, which Sevens star Woodman gathered to bundle over the line for her first of the day.

Hong Kong’s scrum-half Jessica Ho epitomised her side’s never-say-die attitude with an impressive try-saving tackle on Woodman shortly after, but Cocksedge and Charmaine McMenamin capitalised on errors in the proceeding minutes as the Kiwi rampage continued.

As the support for Hong Kong from the eager crowd increased, they began to look more promising and went through patches of more positive play. But New Zealand bulldozed on, Theresa Fitzpatrick and Chelsea Alley adding their names to the scoresheet.

The half-century of points was broken as half-time approached, as Fitzpatrick crossed for her second and Hong Kong welcomed the whistle, thankful to draw much-needed breadth.

Chow Mei Nam celebrates as Jessica Ho makes a try saving tackle Jessica Ho makes a try-saving tackle on Woodman. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The second half brought more of the same, the Black Ferns with their feet even firmer on the pedal. They started almost identically this time around, a Sosoli Talawadua try and another flawless conversion from Cocksedge ensuring a perfect restart.

Woodman announced her hat-trick shortly after, flying down the left-wing with no one there to stop her. And from there, it was a question of how many she could rack up.

The answer was eight in the end, as she powered up the field with seconds remaining to cap a flawless, Player of the Match-winning performance.

From her hat-trick to the final whistle, the rest of the game continued as you were — Glen Moore taking full advantage to empty his bench, while Kelly Brazier, Lesley Ketu and Stacey Waaka were among those to be added to the try-scorer list.

Hong Kong celebrate holding up the ball on the try line Hong Kong celebrate holding up the ball on the try line. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The crowd in Billings Park rose to their feet as Hong Kong gravitated towards the tunnel, defeated but still smiling, while the Black Ferns marched towards the dressing room singing. Job done, onto the next one.

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Emma Duffy

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