Black Ferns ready for Perth battle

By Jamie Wall

Black Ferns lock Charmaine Smith

Black Ferns lock Charmaine Smith says that the team is ‘fully prepared for a big fight’ in tomorrow night’s Laurie O’Reilly Trophy opener against the Wallaroos tomorrow.

The game is being played at the impressive new Optus Stadium in Perth, as part of a double header with the Bledisloe Cup match between the All Blacks and Wallabies. Smith, who has played 25 tests for the Black Ferns, said that the team is focused on what they want to achieve.

“We’re looking to build off our last game against England. We’ve got a few little things across the pitch we want to get better at.” she said at the team hotel yesterday.

The Blacks Ferns had easily their most impressive display of the year in the win over England in the final of the Women’s Super Series in San Diego in June, however it was a tournament that exposed a fair bit of rustiness. That was shown in a second consecutive loss to France during the tournament, to go along with a 30-27 defeat in Lyon last November.

“The trophy means a lot us” Smith said about the fixture with the Wallaroos, who come into the match after a series victory over Japan last month.

“It’s awesome to be playing a double header alongside the All Blacks. Coming over here on the plane with them, it’s an awesome atmosphere to have.”

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