Du Plessis' hat-trick powers Black Ferns to big win
The World Champion Black Ferns have gone back to back in the Pacific Four Series with a 52-21 win over Canada.
New Zealand ran in six tries, three of them to Amy du Plessis, in an incredibly entertaining test match in Ottawa.
Both the big names and newcomers stood up for the Black Ferns who have started 2023 in imperious form.
Canada were brave in defeat as both sides opted for free running rugby at TD Place Stadium.
It took just two minutes for the Ferns to strike through hooker Luka Connor on the back of a break by Katelyn Vaha'akolo.
Ruahei Demant strolled through the hosts to score New Zealand's second as the world champions looked rampant early on.
A third and the game's best soon followed with Mererangi Paul finishing off a Black Ferns special.
Renee Holmes collected an audacious chip kick before the Ferns showed some spectacular offloading as Paul completed the spectacular sweeping movement.
The Canadians then came storming back with two tries in the final seven minutes of the half to trail by just seven at the break.
The first came courtesy of skipper Sophie de Goede who powered over from a quick tap.
The Ottawa crowd was then given some serious hope of a comeback when Fabiola Forteza barged over for Canada's second to reduce the margin to 21-14.
New Zealand drew first blood after the break, a sharp snipe from the base by halfback Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu putting du Plessis under the bar.
Canada refused to go away however, a tighthead scrum eventually leading to Olivia DeMerchant scoring after several assaults on the line, to once again bring themselves within a converted try.
Paul struck back for the Black Ferns with an easy finish in the corner as Holmes missed her first conversion of the afternoon.
Holmes then got herself on the try scoring sheet to bring up 40 for the Ferns, the fullback collecting a kick ahead from du Plessis as the result began to look assured.
Errors crept into the game as both sides emptied their benches.
Player of the match du Plessis completed her second half hattrick after running a superb line off replacement halfback Iritana Hohaia.
The 50 was brought up in style as substitute Kelsey Teneti strolled over to seal a dominant New Zealand win.
The Black Ferns will return to Ottawa next week to meet the United States.