Rugby: Struggling Black Ferns fall to heavy defeat at hands of well-drilled France in Pau

The Black Ferns have fallen to another emphatic defeat, hammered 38-13 by France in the first test in Pau on Sunday morning (NZ time).

The French scored six tries to one to complete their third straight test match win over New Zealand and inflict a third straight heavy defeat on the world champions.

Off the back of two thrashings at the hands of England, hopes were high fresh opposition would lead to a better performance, but the well-drilled homeside were in complete control from the outset at the Stade du Hameau.

France dominated set piece, using their rolling maul to outgun a sloppy New Zealand side lacking in confidence.

Star player Kelly Brazier only managed 40 minutes on return from an Achilles injury, while Portia Woodman and Stacey Fluher were kept quiet throughout as the French first-five, halfback combination of Caroline Drouin and Pauline Bourdon controlled the game.

Kendra Cocksedge landed two first-half penalties to keep New Zealand in the contest at halftime, despite three French tries, but the Black Ferns could only muster a late Eloise Blackwell try in the second as France ran in a further three.

The two teams meet again next week with the Black Ferns looking to avoid four straight test defeats for the first time in a decade.

France 38 (Banet 2, Jacquet, Boulard, Sochat, Sansus tries;  Drouin 4 cons) bt
New Zealand 13 (Blackwell try; Cocksedge 2 pens, Maliepo con)  HT: 19-6