Red Roses brush resilient Wallaroos

by Sam Phillips

The Wallaroos have fought tooth and nail to stick with England's Red Roses but have fallen well short, going down 53-10 in Wellington today.

This was a Wallaroos side featuring 11 debutants in the 23 and there were a few clear standouts in a team still learning the intricacies of coach Paul Verrell's game plan.

No. 8 Victoria Latu starred on debut.

She stuck her hand up for carry after carry and each tackle bust was as explosive as the next.

Latu, along with loosehead prop Liz Patu and inside centre Kayla Sauvao - who was also on debut - were all responsible for serious English headaches on the defensive end.Captain Ashleigh Hewson scored all of Australia's points. Photo: ARU Media/Brendan HertelThat trio carried the ball deep into the English 22 in the opening passage of play, creating space for skipper Ashleigh Hewson to throw a dummy and scoot over for the first points of the match.

That was, however, where the tide turned.

The remainder of the first half was dominated by the Red Roses by the way of both possession and territory.

Two rolling maul tries and a pair of well worked tries from overlaps were the result of consistent set piece pressure and a concise decision to keep the ball in hand.

The Australians looked just as impressive when they did have the ball but they just didn't have enough of it and struggled to cope defensively with the slick passing Poms, who took a 26-10 lead into the sheds at half time.

The Wallaroos were smashed at scrum time. Photo: ARU Media/Brendan HertelEngland continued to control proceedings early in the second term, stretching the Australian defence and capitalising with tries out wide to Vicky Fleetwood and Harriet Millar-Mills.

The remainder of the match was more of the same.

England dominated at both scrum and lineout time, methodically worked the ball into the Australian 22 and spread it wide for a procession of tries.

The Aussies will take positives from this one but the majority of those positives will be in attack.

The set piece needs serious work, as does the defensive organisation, if they are to stand a change against the Black Ferns on Tuesday.


Wallaroos 10

Tries: Hewson

Cons: Hewson

Pens: Hewson

Red Roses 53

Tries: Noel-Smith, Scott, McKenna 3, Wilson 2, Fleetwood, Millar-Mills

Cons: Scott 4