Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Black Ferns on the hunt for their “Rugby DNA” as WXV1 tournament looms

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Neueli Mauafu | Reporter

After failing to clinch the Pacific Four Series cup this year, the Black Ferns are on the hunt once again to get their rugby DNA back.

So what is the Black Ferns dna?

According to coach and director Allan Bunting, their dna is practically the style of play that suits and flows well with them as a collective.

“For us we talk about our dna and we really are trying to find out what that is, we have some really special ladies in our group across the board that are different, and really finding out and believing in what we can bring”.Bunting said

“That’s our responsibility in the brand that we play by unleashing the special gifts that we have is important. so we really need to find what that is”

Although it might seem simple, Bunting and his team may need more than just looking but rather a complete soul search mission.  

The Black Ferns were humbled during the Pacific Four Series suffering a loss at the hands of Canada. It was the first time Canada had defeated New Zealand, in a game which they fully dominated in all aspects.

The loss was a reality check for many players on the team including Layla Sa’e

The 23 year old who is only in her second year as a Black Fern admits that the lessons are tough but rewarding for the team.

“We have to focus on ourselves and what we can do and handle” Sa’e said.

 “There is a lot of stuff needed to fix but we just have to be true to ourselves and work on what is at hand and within our reach”

Assistant coach Steve Jackson shared the same sentiments complimenting the strength the team has had through the many lessons.

“I love the fact that they never complain about anything”.Jackson said

“Whatever you put in front of them they embrace it and just get on with it. and that’s really something I have really enjoyed. They love to sing and do their own, they’re not afraid to put themselves out there”

Sa’e is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. Despite being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, the 23 year old still powers through with her “no excuses” mindset

“It’s not really an obstacle for me because I have had it for so long. But I’m just excited to be a face for little kids or older people with diabetes to look up to” Sa’e said

“I am part of a facebook page for diabetics and my mum posts a lot on it about what i am doing. The more I tell people about it, the more people I can reach out to as well”

Sa’es story speaks well into what might be an example of what Allan Bunting and the Black Ferns are searching for in their style of rugby. 

Hard Work, determination and having belief in overcoming whatever obstacle is in their way. It’s just some of the traits that the team are hoping to mould in as they head into the WXV1 tournament later this year.

The tournament which will feature heavyweights England, France and Pacific Four Series champs Canada which will be a big test for the Ferns.

With only a few months left to get back into shape for it, playmaker Ruahei Demant is confident the team will find its groove back with the support of the fans.

“I think we play an exciting style of rugby. and i think the way that we have been training that excitement is only going to lift” Demant said

“So I will love to see more people come to our games, and watch us live, because it’s exciting for them but it’s even more exciting for us”. 

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