'Grade one carry-on': McKenzie brushes off injury concerns ahead of Wales clash

Tue, Oct 18, 2022, 3:31 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Ever wondered what a day in camp looked like? We followed Sera Naiqama around for a day on the Gold Coast.

Wallaroos flyhalf Arabella McKenzie has shut down any concerns surrounding her knee, optimistic she will be ready to go for Wales.

McKenzie was left writhing on the ground after an awkward tackle during the first half of their 14-12 victory over Scotland.

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The 23-year-old finished the game and eventually sealed the gutsy performance with the match-winning turnover.

Whilst the knee remains bandaged up, McKenzie remained steadfast she will be right for Saturday's crucial clash.

“Yeah my knee is fine, just a bit of grade one carry-on,” McKenzie said on Tuesday.

“The knee is all good, tracking really well and hopefully I can get selected for the game on Saturday against Wales.

“It was a bit painful (the tackle) but I managed to play through it on one leg but it’s pulled up very well so hopefully we’re picked for Wales.”

The Wallaroos need victory or a draw against eighth-ranked Wales to ensure their spot in the quarter-finals.

A defeat with a bonus point will likely be enough to see them advance as one of the two highest-ranked third-place finishers, needing results to go their way.

McKenzie concedes there were still plenty of improvements needed after a 'disappointing' first half, allowing Scotland to run away with a 12-0 half-time lead.

“I though the first 20 we played well but after that, we just didn’t take out opportunities when they came which is frustrating,” McKenzie admits.

“It’s awesome to see the girls rip in this week and we’re tracking really nice for Wales.”

The Wallaroos made 38 tackle busts, however, struggled to finish off their chances, allowing Scotland to stay in the fight until the end.

“We saw those moments in the first half where we just didn’t execute and get the points we needed. I think our 22 conversion rate were around 20% and that’s not good enough,” assistant coach Scott Fava believes.

“I think it comes down to earning the right to go wide,” outside back Pauline Piliae-Rasambale added.

“We need to try and suck in some of the forwards in the middle and if we can, we’ll be able to find that space and get the ball out to the wingers.”

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