Australia rocked by USA physicality

Chris Ford Profile
by Chris Ford

Australia survived a major scare in their final Pool A clash to score after the siren and secure a 12-all draw with the United States of America.

Australia still top the group and proceed through to the quarter-finals as the top seed but the world number one side were rocked by a brutal USA team. 

Tim Walsh’s side will face Spain in the last eight after they beat Kenya on day two to secure progression.

Speedster Ellia Green was forced off inside a minute after she was on the receiving end of a monster USA hit.

Green passed stage one of the Head Injury Assessment test after the game but both Brooke Walker and Dom du Toit are on standby.

It was all USA in the early stages with only remarkable cover defence from Australia keeping them at bay.

Shannon Parry and Emma Tonegato displayed the early defensive heroics before a spectacular cover tackle from star halfback Charlotte Caslick kept USA scoreless at the half.Tonegato was the saviour in both attack and defence for Australia. Photo: Getty Images

Tonegato continued her fine Olympic form in the closing stages of the first half, pouncing on a loose ball to force her way over and give Australia a 5-nil lead at the break.

USA kept up the physicality in the second period, continually shutting down any Australia attack. 

It wasn’t long until Australia’s defence finally cracked with Jessica Javelet scoring for the first try against Australia in the tournament.

Javelet grabbed another soon after, snatching a stray pass from Australia’s Amy Turner to score an intercept try and push the margin to seven points.

Emilee Cherry came off the bench late in the second half and raced away after the final siren with Tonegato picking up and diving over from close range to bring the score to 12-10.

Chloe Dalton left with the pressure conversion and she split the sticks to rescue a draw.

USA will now take on New Zealand in the last eight with Great Britain to face Fiji and Canada to meet France. 

Australia 12 (T: Tonegato 2, C: Dalton) 

USA 12 (T: Javelet 2, C: 2 Baravilala)


Australia v Spain (6am AEST)

Canada v France (6.30am AEST)

Great Britain v Fiji (7am AEST)

New Zealand v United States of America (7.30am AEST)