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Australia cracks half century against PNG

Fri, 26/01/2018, 4:15 am
Beth Newman
by Beth Newman
Ellia Green showed some fancy footwork, scoring a try against PNG.

Australia's women cracked the half-century against Papua New Guinea but it's the clean sheet they're most happy with, says Emma Tonegato.

Tonegato was one of three Aussies to notch a double in the clash, but said the defensive side of the scoreline pleased them most, after keeping Spain to nil in their first match as well.

"Definitely keeping us to that nil, that's our goal always on day one," she said.

"So pretty happy so far with our defence."

Papua New Guinea put up a fight in the opening stages but the Aussies found their feet as the half ticked on.

Scrumhalf Charlotte Caslick picked up her own scrum feed and ran to the opening try in the third minute to notch the first try, before Cassie Staples ran over for a second with three minutes left in the half.

Caslick had her second in the sixth minute, taking advantage of a major overlap to stretch Australia's lead to 17 points.

it wasn't long before Ellia Green found herself in the thick of the action once again, notching her second try in as many games to hand Australia a 24-point advantage at the break.

Georgie Friedrichs made it five unanswered tries for Australia just after half-time and she had a double just three minutes later, all but sealing a second straight win in Sydney.

Emma Tonegato finished off a smooth set play in the 13th minute and made it a triple double for the Aussies, joining Caslick and Friedrich with her second try just before the full-time siren.

The score mirrored that of Papua New Guinea's first match, which was a 50-0 loss to France.

Aussie coach Tim Walsh was a notable absentee from the sideline, with soon-to-be interim coach John Manenti taking huddles and sending messages.

It's a move Walsh had foreshadowed earlier this week and Tonegato said it didn't change too much for them.

"(We're) just getting used to different things I guess," she said.

"We've done it a couple of times in the past and it seemed to work for us so we'll just keep going with whatever works."

Australia takes on France at 5:18pm AEDT for the top spot in pool A.

Keep up with all the action in our live blog.


Australia 50

Tries: Caslick 2, Friedrichs 2, Tonegato 2, Staples, Green

Cons: Sykes 3

Papua New Guinea 0

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