Rugby World Cup: Portia Woodman makes tryscoring history, as Black Ferns surge into semi-finals with win over Wales

Flying winger Portia Woodman wrote another chapter in her rugby legacy, sparking New Zealand to a 55-3 win over Wales for a place in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals.

Performing on her homeground of Northland Events Centre, the veteran - already the top tryscorer in sevens history - became the leading all-time tryscorer in the 15s tournament, grabbing a double to propel the NZ women to a clinical performance, as they entered the business end of their title defence.

Reserve hooker Luka Connor also crossed for a pair of tries among the Ferns' nine, without allowing their rivals a sniff of the tryline throughout the entire 80 minutes.

Black Ferns celebrate victory over Wales
Black Ferns celebrate victory over Wales. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

Despite overcoming Wales in pool play, the home team emerged with their set-piece reputation bruised and battered, and desperately sought to reverse those fortunes in the rematch. They dominated at scrumtime from the start, sending a warning to their next opponents, France.

New Zealand need a few minutes to repel the initial challenge from Wales, but took control, when Woodman found the corner for her first touchdown. The only Welsh points came from a penalty soon after, before Ruby Tui and Sarah Hirini also scored in the right corner for the Ferns.

Prop Amy Rule barged over before halftime and the champions led 26-3 at the break, with captain Ruahei Demant slotting conversions from near the touchline.

Woodman struck again to set the ball rolling soon after the restart and the Black Ferns scored at regular intervals, with Connor showing her strength from close range and Demant capping her performance with a five-pointer.

New Zealand's discipline was another area that showed huge improvement on earlier outings, but Wales were reduced to 13 players for a few minutes, as theirs let them down towards the end of the contest.

With the French accounting for Italy in the earlier quarter-final, the Kiwis will now face a team that inflicted record defeats on them during the ill-fated northern hemisphere tour last year.

"It's an extreme privilete," said co-captain Kennedy Simon, who made a comeback from injury for her tournament debut off the bench. "We've got a huge legacy that we're trying to uphold and enhance, so to get through to the next phase of the campaign is pretty awesome."

New Zealand 55 (Woodman 2, Connor 2, Demant, Hirini, Rule, A Bremner & Tui tries; Demant 5 conversions) Wales 3 (Bevan penalty)

Catch the Rugby World Cup live on Spark Sport or free-to-air on Three, or join us next Saturday for live updates of the Black Ferns v France semi-final