The women’s finals are all set at #RLWC2021 following the conclusion of the preliminary rounds.
It wasn’t until the final game of Round 3 in York that the most competitive contest of the tournament was played out between traditional rivals Australia and New Zealand in Group B.
The Jillaroos came out on top, but only just, with a closely fought 10-8 victory. The Aussie women led 6-4 at halftime in the two tries apiece matchup.
Julia Robinson and Tarryn Aiken dotted down for Australia, while in reply, Apii Nichols and Autumn-Rain Stephens-Daly crossed the line for the Kiwi Ferns. The difference being a single conversion by Australia’s Ali Brigginshaw.
That result set up a semifinal between the Aussies and Papua New Guinea on Monday.
In the other Group B game on Thursday, the Cook Islands sprung a major surprise with a solid 26-18 win against France.
The Cook Islands outscored the French women by five tries to four to claim their first win of the tournament. The Pacific Island nation led 12-4 at the break. Kerehitina Matua was the main difference between the two teams, kicking three conversions.
In the Group A games on Wednesday in Leeds, Canada and England posted wins.
In the first match, the Canada Ravens had to work hard to edge out Brazil 22-16. The game was all tied up at 16-16 as the clock wound down, but in the dying moments of the contest, the Canadians scored what’s been called by some a ‘miracle’ try by Alanna Fittes to ice the game.
In the end, Canada outscored the Amazonas by four tries to three, and again, the difference was three conversions by Dani Frananda to two by the Brazilian goal kicker. It was the Canadians’ first victory at #RLWC2021 as they matched their record from the 2017 World Cup in Australia.
In the second game of that doubleheader, England was way too good for Papua New Guinea, shutting out the Orchids in the second half to run away with a 42-4 triumph.
The English women scored eight tries and led 14-4 at halftime. They will play New Zealand in Monday’s second semifinal.