The Wallaroos have been defeated by the USA Eagles 23-20 in the 6th v 7th playoff match at the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup.
The match now leaves Australia to regroup before taking on Wales in the 7th v 8th playoff to be held Monday 18 August 12:00am AEST.
Head Coach Paul Verrell was disappointed Australia couldn’t hold onto its early lead from a late charging USA.
“I’m very disappointed that we allowed a very physical US defence to change our defensive structures.
“We ultimately let them back into the game as we didn’t match their physicality at the breakdown and didn’t maintain possession.
“The entire team is really disappointed to lose this match but we will regroup to finish this tournament on a high when we take on Wales.”
The United States opened the scoring early in the match after some infringements at the breakdown by the Wallaroos, giving the USA a 3-0 advantage.
The Wallaroos bounced back strongly scoring two unanswered converted tries to take Australia’s lead to 17-3.
The boot of Ashleigh Hewson was as accurate as it had been all tournament as she was able to keep Australia’s total advancing through her successful kicking.
The second half saw momentum to begin to swing towards their United States as their tactics began to create dividends.
A knee injury to no.8 Mollie Gray left Australia reeling as the powerful forward was unable to take part in the rest of the match.
The USA scored back to back unanswered tries that allowed them to exert the dominance their possession advantage had earned them in the second half.
With the scores locked at 20-20 in the 73rd minute both teams threw everything they had each other in attack to attempt to secure the win.
The USA Eagles though were able to hold onto possession and in the 79th minute received a penalty right in front of the posts.
With the points converted, America had the 23-20 lead, with mere seconds left in regular time.
The Wallaroos’ fighting spirit which had been evident all tournament continued to shine through with the Australian side regathering the ball of the kickoff and attacking the American line.
After 12 phases the USA finally made the mistake giving Australia a penalty after the siren to secure the draw. However the kick went wide leaving the Wallaroos to reflect on missed opportunities.
The Wallaroos final challenge of the World Cup is to take on Wales in the 7th v 8th playoff to be held Monday 18 August 12:00am AEST.