NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13- World Rugby sevens series all time top try scorer Portia Woodman dotted down thrice as New Zealand thrashed Kenya’s Lionesses 45-0 in the opening game of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia on Friday.
New Zealand, silver medalists from the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil in 2016 ran in seven tries, five of which were converted as they began their journey to the Commonwealth Games gold on a positive note.
Kevin Wambua’s girls, fresh from an impressive performance at the Hong Kong World Series qualifiers did not have a reply to the New Zealander’s emphatic show. Earlier on, other African representatives South Africa also lost to Canada.
Woodman began the rout for New Zealand early on, showing sheer strength to push away Michelle Omondi, Doreen Remour and Sheila Chajira before dotting down on the left.
Kelly Brazier grounded New Zealand’s second try of the game racing down under the posts from almost the halfway line after some little inside-outside step created space for her to run. Tyla Nathan-Wong added in the extras for a 12-0 lead.
The rout continued, this time Gayle Broughton landing under the posts after some patient build up. Broughton raced down the field after a dummy past Remour. The conversion went through for a 19-0 lead at half time.
After the break, Woodman added her second with another powerful run, bumping away from a marker on the left before cutting infield and heading into the try box unmatched.
She struck again after Kenya failed to pick the restart, greasing through tackles to land under the posts, the New Zealanders steaming away 33-0.
Niall Williams completed the job with two late tries wide, first capitalizing on an error from Janet Okello who failed to cover the ball inside the try box after a kick from a New Zealand player, Williams sneaking in behind her to ground before the ball went out of play.
She completed her brace seconds to the buzzer, Kenya once again being found wanting on the rear.
The Lionesses next match will be against Canada at 12:11pm.