WHAT THEY SAID: Wallaroos' instant reaction to stunning French win

Sat, Oct 28, 2023, 8:30 AM
Lachlan Grey
by Lachlan Grey
Hat-trick hero Eva Karpani scores the first of her three tries against France during Australia's WXV1 win in Dunedin. Picture: Getty
Hat-trick hero Eva Karpani scores the first of her three tries against France during Australia's WXV1 win in Dunedin. Picture: Getty

Australia's historic 29-20 win over France ended a 13-year Wallaroos hoodoo against Les Bleus.

Tighthead prop Eva Karpani stole the show with a hat-trick of tries while Georgie Friedrichs, Arabella McKenzie, Sera Naiqama and Emily Chancellor were among Australia's best at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

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Here's what the players and coaches had to say to Sky Sports following Saturday night's incredible WXV1 win in Dunedin. Wallaroos Player of the Match and hat-trick hero Eva Karpani after full-time:

"It feels absolutely amazing. You know, Player of the Match, nothing beats that, but the win is better. My team’s better than a trophy and I’m just so proud of us.

"We trusted our process, we did our jobs well and I wouldn’t be there without my team, my foundation and my support … my team got me here (and) it was a team effort."

Wallaroos captain Michaela Leonard on the historic win:

"Firstly, just congratulations and thank you to the French girls. We knew that would be a battle and that was a physical fight for the full 80."

"(To) my girls, so proud. It’s been a long year of building for us. Tonight, we came out and every time we asked for more they gave it, so incredibly proud.

"Incredibly proud of our execution, the composure out there, and still plenty of room for improvement so really excited to see what we do next week and building into the future with this group.

"The girls came out onto the paddock last week (and) we knew what we wanted to fix, we worked hard at it and it worked out for us tonight. It’s a full 30 (squad) effort and I’m really proud of the girls

"Any win in this jersey is incredibly special and to do it for the first time in a fair few years when most of the girls played France for the first time tonight is really exciting."

Wallaroos coach Jay Tregonning after full time:

"We knew we were playing a team above us in the world ranking  which is always a challenge but we knew we had a game plan to try and upset France tonight and it worked."

"We wanted to start fast, we’ve obviously been upset about our starts. We got into a position where we got some points on the board early and then we defended well

"Our biggest thing was working for each other and every time the ball was on the ground, someone was on it and that was our big focus this week.

"Obviously Eva’s got the player of the match with the way she can finish near the tryline, young Bri Hoy was diving on balls left right and centre trying to kill the ball for us, but overall (it’s) the whole squad, the girls who weren’t even here tonight," Tregonning added.

"The way we trained and how hard we trained together this week showed on the field."

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