Riordan a chance of Auckland return

Womens International
by Sarah Friend

Wallaroos vice-captain Sarah Riordan is a chance of making a Test return this weekend in Auckland after a heartbreaking injury in Sydney.

Riordan was ruled out of the Sydney Test against the Black Ferns after rolling her ankle in a freak training accident just three days out from the match.

At the time coach Dwayne Nestor said the team was doing everything they could to get her right for the second match.

It seems their efforts are paying off.

Riordan appears to be out of her moon boot and ahead of schedule in her recovery from the injury.

Wallaroos forwards coach Matt Tink said the efforts of the team's physio had helped Riordan get back on track for a spot on the plane to Auckland.

“We were calling our physio ‘Jesus Christ’ last night through his healing hands," he said.

"She’s progressing better than we thought. She’s not definitely cleared to play yet but she’s making huge progress."

Riordan's inclusion would be a handy boost for a young Wallaroos side as they look to turn the tables on the Black Ferns after a 31-11 loss in Sydney.

The Wallaroos were picked apart at lineout time and in a handful of ensuing mauls by the well-drilled Black Ferns.

It was a domination Tink said left the team with a palpable sense of disappointment.

Rather than dwelling on the negatives, Tink said the team was already turning that disappointment into determination.

“We conceded three maul tries and we only won 50 per cent of our lineout ball, but it was pleasing to me how personally the girls took that," he said.

"They we’re disappointed in that performance, they're stunned by that and I guess collectively as a coach and as a group we’re hurting a little bit from that.

"We’ve reviewed that this morning, we’ve put that to bed and we’re working on solutions this week."

"Our real focus for us will just be providing good set ball and fixing our maul defence."

Tink said the step up to Test rugby taught their new faces a lot and they would have to step up this week.

"The comments have been made everything happened a lot quicker than Super W so our reaction to things will need to improve,"he said.

"But our ability to see things happen a bit early will probably be a by-product of that Test match.”

The Wallaroos take on the Black Ferns at Eden Park on Saturday night, kicking off at 3pm AEST.