Wallaroos lacked physicality, aggression: Verrell

Womens Rugby World Cup
by Sam Phillips

The Wallaroos were outclassed against France and coach Paul Verrell believes his side lacked the same physicality they brought to the contest against Ireland.

The 48-0 loss shattered any hope of a semi final berth and Verrell was blunt when asked what exactly went wrong.

"We came up against a very good French side," Verrell said.

"They were very fit, well drilled, aggressive, they brought their number one game and we struggled to match them early on.

"We paid the price with the score that we got."

After taking a 29-0 deficit into the sheds at half time, the second half was marginally better.

That was due to a back to basics approach for the Wallaroos, who were shellshocked by a brilliant French outfit in the opening term.

"We just had to go back to how we played against Ireland, the aggressiveness and physicality that we had," Verrell said.

"I think that was lacking in that game tonight.

"We stepped out again in the second half and improved but we just need to do that for 80 minutes."

Attention now shifts to a clash with Japan, who led Ireland 14-0 before the host nation took control in the second half, dominating the set piece and physicality in tight to claim a 24-14 win.Sharni Williams was one of the shining lights for the Wallaroos. Photo: ARU Media/Brendan HertelWin that and the Wallaroos should be in with a chance to fight for 5th place, a mark that would be an improvement from the 7th place finish at the 2014 World Cup.

"We saw Japan were very strong today against the Irish," Verrell said.

"They led for most of the game and just fell off the pace at the end.

"They're a very well drilled side, a fit side and they'll challenge us on Thursday."

The Wallaroos take on Japan at UCD Bowl in Dublin on Friday, kicking off at 2am AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.