Head Coach Paul Verrell was buoyant despite seeing his Wallaroos side fall to Canada 22-0 in their second and final match of the Tri-Nations Series in Tauranga, New Zealand on Friday afternoon.
The Wallaroos completed their preparations ahead of the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup by handing debuts to lock Michelle Milward and wingers Hayley Barclay and Madeline Putz. Verrell's side put in a display that was gritty in defence but ultimately lacked a cutting edge in attack.
"The opening 40 minutes were very stop-start. We put the ball down when chances were created and we just couldn't capitalise when we really needed to. That said, Canada is a well-drilled side who have just come off a Test series themselves.
"Today’s match where one of our players was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle demonstrates that we need to work on our discipline. It was a bit of a wake-up call and we have plenty of work to do before we head to France in a couple of months.
"I thought the three debutants were excellent for their first game at Test level. Over the two games in New Zealand, we have given debuts to 14 players which should stand us in good stead in the coming months and years ahead."
A tight first-half saw little in the way of try-scoring opportunities. However, Canada eventually broke the deadlock midway through the first period when Jacey Murphy bundled over from close range after good work from her forward pack.
Despite creating one or two chances in the second half, the Wallaroos were unable to convert the opportunities into points and were punished for their profligacy when Andrea Burk converted a penalty to extend the Canadian lead to 8-0 after 50 minutes.
A high-tackle saw Australian full-back Ashleigh Hewson sin-binned and a ruthless Canadian side took immediate advantage with Murphy crossing over once again before captain Kelly Russell put the game beyond doubt after finishing off a fine move to hand the Wallaroos their second defeat of the Tri-Nations series.