Women's teams to focus on attack
Improved attack is on the wish list for both the Kiwi Ferns and Australian Jillaroos, heading into their second and third matches on day two of the NRL Auckland Nines.
The New Zealanders triumphed 8-4 in Saturday's contest, which featured some determined and brutal defence, but ultimately wasted opportunities in attack.
Jillaroos winger Deanna Turner said the Kiwis had caught them off guard with their structured defensive line, which meant a frustrating day with the ball in hand.
"To keep this series alive we need to spread the ball a bit more, we played a bit narrow so we will look to get a bit more width and utilise our speed more," Turner said.
"The Kiwi Ferns were way more defensively structured than we were figuring we would encounter. But they are always tough, regardless of the format of the game."
It was a similar story for New Zealand coach Rusty Matua who, despite getting the result, remained worried about taking 13 minutes to score any points in game one.
"We had some concerns on attack, we were making some bad decisions on last tackle," Matua said.
"We were getting to the kick but then putting in little grubbers instead of one up in the air.
"Patience was the big thing, we were rushing passes and taking really bad options on the last tackles.
"We will come back today with that experience under our belt and a better idea of how to handle it, I believe we will come back a more composed team."
Meanwhile Matua praised the efforts of halfback Rona Peters, who produced a number of huge hits in the second half which he believed helped shift momentum.
"It's inspirational to the rest of the team too, it lifts our girls when they see Rona go boom," Matua said of the veteran playmaker, who was named MVP when the two sides met in November last year.
"She didn't just do it once either, she did it a few times and it was awesome motivation to our team.
"I think it shows the character of the girls, they will never give up and they just keep coming."
The Jillaroos and Kiwi Ferns play two game on day two of the Auckland Nines, Game 2 at 2.35pm AEDT and Game 3 at 4.40pm AEDT, just before the Nines Final.