Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

“Don’t shut us off just yet” Wallaroos message ahead of clash with Black Ferns

Atasi Lafai & Cecilia Smith.
Avatar photo
Neueli Mauafu | Reporter

It has not been an ideal Pacific Four series for the Wallaroos this year. 

With back to back losses to USA and Canada and a must win match against the Black Ferns coming up, the prospects look grim with the team potentially heading for a bottom of the table finish in the competition.

But midfielder Cecilia Smith believes that despite the losses, the team still has a lot to offer for women’s rugby.

“The first two games are obviously not the result we wanted, but we are a young team and we are still learning. Having the chance to go up against some of the worlds best is an opportunity for us to improve our game”

Cecilia Smith. Photo: 9News

Canada surprised many with a three game winning streak, over New Zealand, USA and Australia, Their win over the Black Ferns in Christchurch was the teams first win over New Zealand in their history.

Cecilia says the results from the Pacific Four Series are a sign of the growth of women’s rugby across the world.

“It’s really good for the game man,” Cecilia said.

“With New Zealand being dominant over the last few years, it is surreal seeing Canada topple them. It just gives us confidence heading in to our match with the Ferns that it is possible”

While reflecting on their progress this year, fellow Wallaroo Atasi Lafai believes there is still a lot of work to be done for women’s rugby in Australia.

Atasi Lafai. Photo: Rugby Australia

“It’s hard being a womens rugby player in Australia,” Lafai said.

“We are trying to grow rugby into the future, but then we are competing with rugby league and AFL. So it is hard trying to retain the younger generation coming through the ranks”

“I want to see more consistent pathways for the younger players. Other sports codes have these pathways and it’s rewarding seeing the results they get out of it. We need that in rugby”

Heading into their matchup with the Black Ferns, both Cecilia and Lafai have one message.

“Don’t shut us off just yet. Anything can happen in the game and we are really looking forward to it”.

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