New Zealand crushes Canada Ravens in Women's Rugby World Cup opener

Thursday, 16 November 2017, 02:25:41 PM. Canada opened the Women's Rugby League World Cup with a 50-4 loss to New Zealand on Thursday. Back-rower Megan Pakulis scored Canada's lone try.

Canada opened the Women's Rugby League World Cup with a 50-4 loss to New Zealand on Thursday.

Back-rower Megan Pakulis scored Canada's lone try.

Honey Hireme and Teuila Fotu-Moala scored two tries apiece for New Zealand. Atawhai Tupaea, Lilieta Maumau, Krystal Murray and Apii Nicholls-Pualau also had tries as the Ferns built a 16-4 lead by halftime and a 28-4 advantage after 55 minutes.

New Zealand scored four tries within an 11-minute span in the second half.

Canada plays Papua New Guinea on Nov. 19 and defending champion Australia on Nov 22. The other sides in the six-team women's field are the Cook Islands and England. The top four will face off in the semifinals Nov. 26.

While many of the Canada Ravens have impressive rugby union credentials, they are new to the 13-woman code.

Primarily played in England, Australia and New Zealand, rugby league is the sport's lesser-known code although it has made inroads in Canada this year with the success of the Toronto Wolfpack.

League features 13 players instead of 15 with teams given six chances to advance the ball up the field. It can be a brutal game with gang-tackling on defence, but there is also room for creativity on attack.

Canada rugby union internationals on the Ravens squad include Andrea Burk, Gillian Hoag, Mandy Marchak, Stevi Schnoor and Natasha Smith.

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