Rugby: Black Ferns beaten by France in northern tour finale, record historic fourth straight defeat

The Black Ferns will return home from the northern hemisphere without a win, losing 29-7 to France in Castres in the final test of their tour - the first time the NZ women have lost four times in a row. 

The game was only four minutes old, when France opened the scoring, as hooker Agathe Sochat dived over from the back of a rolling maul, with the Black Ferns again struggling to stop the opponent's set piece.

Winger Marie-Aurelie Castel doubled France's lead in the 12th minute, as the boot of first-five Caroline Druin had the Black Ferns trailing 14-0 before the midway point of the first half.

Black Ferns No.8 Kennedy Simon pulled a try back for New Zealand, aided by the third match official, after an impressive passage of play led by Portia Woodman and Eloise Blackwell.

But France restored their 14-point advantage before the break, as Maia Roos collapsed a maul that saw her earn a yellow card, and a penalty try awarded, seeing New Zealand trail 21-7 at halftime.

In the second half, Castel scored her second of the game, thanks to a cutout pass from Drouin, diving into the corner for another French try.

One last penalty from Drouin completed the scoring, as France held off any attempted Black Ferns raid to close out their second straight victory over New Zealand. 

The 0-4 record on the northern tour gives the Black Ferns plenty to work on, before next year's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand from October.