Canada keep Wallaroos at bay

by Sam Phillips

A malfunctioning scrum and crisp Canadian backline has sunk the Wallaroos in their final Test before the World Cup, as Canada cruised to a comfortable 45-5 win in Rotorua.

The Australians never got out of first gear in the first half.

Some big hits and well organised work on the defensive end was quickly offset when star No. 8 Victoria Latu limped off in the eighth minute and new captain Cheyenne Campbell was sin binned two minutes later for a cynical penalty inside the Wallaroos 22.

The Canadians peppered the Australian line in the ensuing minutes and despite some desperate defence, the first crack appeared with 13 minutes gone and Canada had their first try.Canada had it all their own way in the first half. Photo: ARU Media/Brendan HertelAfter winning the restart, turnover ball quickly turned into more points for the Canadians, Julianne Zussman the beneficiary of a slick counterattack.

The 14-0 lead turned into a 19-0 lead at the 23 minute mark when the scrum was again found wanting on Australian feed.

The defence was resilient but the Canadians eventually found numbers on the left wing and a beautiful cutout pass put Frederique Rajotte in.Victoria Latu's absence hurt the Australians. Photo: ARU Media/Brendan HertelThe 26-0 scoreboard at half time didn't tell the entire story, though, as the Australian defence was actually as sharp as it has been all series.

When Latu was forced from the field the go forward was absent and that hurt the Aussies.

Add that to a scrum which was penalised whenever either halfback put the ball in and a tendency to give away stupid penalties and the defence had very little to work with, as the Canadians had 70 percent possession in the first term.

The Australians came out firing in the second term and had their first points when a quick thinking Hilisha Samoa dived over the top of a ruck for a try.Hilisha Samoa scored the Wallaroos' only try. Photo: ARU Media/Brendan HertelThe next 20 minutes were an improved patch from the Australians.

They controlled possession and avoided the set piece but the Canadian line held strong before finishing with three late tries.

All three of those tries were created by scrum dominance, reserve halfback Brianna Miller finding acres of space on the fringe of a big shove before No.8 Kelly Russell scored one try and set up another on the siren.


Wallaroos 5

Tries: Samoa



Canada 45

Tries: Kirby, Zussman 2, Rajotte, Belchos, Miller, Russell

Cons: Harvey 5