Wallaroos hold on for narrow victory over Wales

Sat, Oct 22, 2022, 3:07 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.

The Wallaroos have booked their place in the quarter-finals with a narrow 13-7 win over Wales in Whangarei.

Jay Tregonning's side started strong as scrumhalf Iliseva Batibasaga dived under the posts for the opening try after five minutes.

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Wales hit back via Sioned Harries before a Lori Cramer penalty put Australia up 10-7 at the break

The Wallaroos dominated the second half, however, struggled to turn it into points as Wales hang in the contest.

A late yellow card to Kaitlan Leaney gave Wales a chance to strike before Cramer's second penalty of the game sealed the win.

The Wallaroos started on fire after forcing a mistake from the kick off.

An increased focus on kicking in behind paid off instantly as Arabella McKenzie found Ivania Wong inside the 22.

They capitalised in the fifth minute when scrum half Iliseva Batibasaga caught the Welsh defence overcommitting, diving over under the posts.

Sloppy penalties kept Wales in the contest as they started to build pressure via the set-piece.

This allowed Sioned Harries to sneak over from short to level it up.

Bienne Terita produced some magic to get the kickoff back, however, unfortunate positioning from referee Sarah Cox saw the 5-on-2 overlap broken up.

Wales started to build pressure but the defence of the Wallaroos held strong and eventually a great break from Terita put them on the attack.

Captain Shannon Parry’s work over the ball late in the half gave Lori Cramer a shot on goal 22 metres out, making no mistake to put Australia up 10-7 at the break.

The Wallaroos continued their dominance into the second half but couldn’t turn into points as they struggled with execution.

Arabella McKenzie went close in the 49th minute but was held up as they camped inside the 22 with little luck.

They started to gain their own ascendancy with the rolling maul but a loose pass broke up the attack.

Whenever Wales tried to clear, the excellent work from the back row, led by player of the match Grace Hamilton, earned turnover after turnover.

The Wallaroos' discipline issues came back to haunt them when Kaitlan Leaney was yellow carded for a high tackle.

However, the side held strong and a second penalty from Cramer secured the victory.

“It’s massive to be in the quarter-finals, this group has come a long way since the start of the year and that was the first box we wanted to tick,” captain Shannon Parry said after the match.

“Really proud of the girls today to guts out that win against Wales.

“We’ve been working really hard on our defence system and it’s really good to see it pay off today.

WALLAROOS 13

TRIES: Batibasaga

CONS: Cramer 1/1

PENS: Cramer 2/2

WALES 7

TRIES: Harries

CONS: Snowsill 1/1

WALLAROOS V WALES TEAMS

WALLAROOS (15-1): Lori Cramer, Bienne Terita, Georgina Friedrichs, Sharni Williams, Ivania Wong, Arabella McKenzie, Iliseva Batibasaga, Grace Hamilton, Shannon Parry (c), Emily Chancellor, Grace Kemp, Michaela Leonard, Bride O'Gorman Adiana Talakai, Liz Patu

RESERVES: Ashley Marsters, Emily Robinson, Eva Karpani, Kaitlan Leaney, Piper Duck, Layne Morgan, Trileen Pomare, Pauline Piliae-Rasabale

WALES (15-1): Niamh Terry, Jasmine Joyce, Carys Williams-Morris, Hannah Jones (c), Lisa Neumann, Elinor Snowsill, Ffion Lewis, Sioned Harries, Alex Callender, Bethan Lewis, Gwen Crabb, Natalia John, Cerys Hale, Kelsey Jones, Cara Hope

RESERVES: Carys Phillips, Caryl Thomas, Sisilia Tuipulotu, Georgia Evans, Siwan Lilicrap, Keira Bevan, Robyn Wilkins, Kerin Lake

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