The Wallaroos have been defeated by Women’s Six Nations Champions France 17-3 in Australia’s final pool match of the tournament in Paris on Sunday morning.
The well favourited French side had to use every bit of their experience to overcome the Wallaroos that refused to give up throughout the entirety of the match.
France will now progress to the semi-finals alongside Canada, Ireland and England.
Head Coach Paul Verrell was proud of the way his charges played.
“We always knew that taking on France in Paris was going to be a tall order consider the wealth of experience and success France has had in recent times.
“However we came with a strong game plan and really took it to the French.
“I’m couldn’t be more proud of our defence and how we never gave up despite the onslaught of pressure-particularly in the second half.
“Our focus will now switch to finishing the tournament as strongly as possible with our ranking and giving more experience to this young team.”
The match started well for Australia with the Wallaroos making some good attacking runs and were able to advance into French territory. The French defence though was prepped early and didn’t allow the Wallaroos to make dividends from their attacking raids.
The experienced French side was able to make their way into the Wallaroos defensive zone and French flyhalf, Sandrine Agricole converted a penalty to give France an early lead.
Australia continued to dominate possession and territory in the early stages of the match as the Wallaroos refused to give an inch to their more fancied opponents.
Ashleigh Hewson got Australia’s first points in the 14th minute with a penalty kick after infringements from France at the breakdown, taking the score to 3-3.
Moments later, Australian captain Shannon Parry was given a yellow card despite the ball appearing to be out at the back of French breakdown which allowed France to achieve considerable momentum.
France were awarded a penalty try in the 35th minute of the match, despite the French being unable to penetrate the Wallaroos defence on the Australian try line.
France’s flyhalf Agricole converted the penalty try taking the host nation’s lead to 10-3, where the score would remain at half time.
The second half saw France dominate possession and territory, however the Wallaroos defence continued to keep the French out.
Eventually though the pressure from France was too much and in the 50th minute captain Gaelle Mignot crashed over for a try off a French rolling maul, giving France a health 17-3 lead.
The resolute Wallaroos defence was continually tested by the powerful French forwards in the second half, but Australia continued to find ways to keep the French out.
Australia finished with the ball in hand, attacking the French line.
Australia will now take on the USA in the 6th v 7th playoff.