Rugby: Black Ferns' shock defeat to Canada exposes shortcomings with World Cup defence looming

Effort, discipline and accountability - those are the three things the Black Ferns know they have to work on after last weekend's historic loss. 

For the first time in 18 test matches, Canada managed to claim victory over the NZ women during their Pacific Four battle at Christchurch. 

Despite the hurt, the team believe the loss has came at a good time. 

Kennedy Simon feels the pain of defeat against Canada.
Kennedy Simon feels the pain of defeat against Canada. Photo credit: Photosport

"It's disappointing, but trust me, we are our harshest critics on ourselves," insisted star winger Ruby Tui. "We had some pretty honest conversations last night and over the weekend." 

The Black Ferns were defeated 22 -19 by Canada, who claimed the Pacific Four title, but also sent a warning to the Kiwis. 

"Oh, it's definitely a wake-up call, but lets not take anything away from Canada," said assistant coach Steve Jackson. "They're a good side - a great side - and they put a lot of pressure on us."

That pressure lead to terrible discipline from the home side, which was evident from the first whistle, as they conceded 14 penalties across the match and copped two yellow cards. 

"You know that never helps, being down to 14 people, so our discipline needs to get better, if we want to win games," said Jackson. 

New Zealand will take on Australia for their last match of the Pacific Four series this weekend, but with the Rugby World cup just over a year away, the side are starting to think about how they can defend their title. 

Tui believes the loss has come just in the nick of time. 

"I think it is really good timing to smooth these little issues out and take these little gifts," she said. "If we were a month out, I think there would be a bit more yelling." 

There was no yelling today, just a quiet sense of determination they will do everything they can to avoid a second loss this weekend. 

Join Newshub at 2pm Saturday for live updates of the Black Ferns v Australia Pacific Four clash