Yapp challenging Wallaroos for response as Marsters ruled out of Kiwi match

Thu, May 23, 2024, 5:43 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Tania Naden rolls over for the Wallaroos first try of 2024

Wallaroos coach Jo Yapp is looking to avoid a second half shutdown as they take their shot at a maiden Black Ferns win.

The Wallaroos have been stung after the break in their opening Tests, with the USA scoring twice in the first eight minutes of the second half to level the scores.

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The Canadians had similar success in running away with the win in the maiden Test under Yapp, leading the former English scrumhalf to drill the importance into the players.

“We were disappointed, there’s no question about it and we don’t want to make excuses for that second half and we’ve looked at it this week and emulated that with our training sessions in terms of the girls going back into the change rooms, resetting and coming back out," she told the media.

“That’s been an important part of our prep because we recognise that we didn’t come out and switch on enough at the weekend."

The Wallaroos will be without star flanker Ash Marsters after she suffered an ankle injury late in the defeat.

It paves the way for Waratah Leilani Nathan to make her starting debut, joined by NSW teammate Atasi Lafai in the starting side.

“Ash will see someone on Monday, so we’ll get a better idea then,” Yapp said on Marsters' timeline.

“Leilani (Nathan) has deserved her opportunity to come in, she’s trained very well.”

Yapp believes there are elements of Canada's game plan they can adopt after their shock win over the Kiwis last week.

“The results certainly don’t reflect the effort that everyone’s put in and in all fairness, it was our own errors that let them into the half," she added.

“We had really good control of that first 40 minutes against the USA and that’s how we know we can play.

“That’s really exciting but on the whole, the progress that we’ve seen in the players on and off the field in terms of their behaviours and the way they’re stepping up and training.”

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