Wallaroos eyeing their shot at history in quest to end Black Ferns streak

Wed, Jul 10, 2024, 4:55 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
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The Wallaroos have their eyes on history as they look to end the long-standing dominance of the Black Ferns in the O’Reilly Cup.

The New Zealanders have controlled the contest between the trans-Tasman rivals since their first match in 1994, a 37-0 win to the Kiwis in New Zealand.

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Whilst the win has yet to come for the Wallaroos, the current generation of players have been the closest to tasting it.

2022 saw the Wallaroos push New Zealand as far as they have been pushed in recent history, leading at half-time in Tauranga before the Kiwis came away with the 23-10 win.

Adelaide presented another close defeat, going down 22-14, before the Wallaroos stunned the hosts to kick off the 2021 Rugby World Cup, leading 17-0 after 30 minutes to silence Eden Park.

New Zealand would ultimately run them down and dominate the next three years but a 64-5 win over Fijiana has the Wallaroos believing history could be on the cards.

“It’s definitely something we’ve addressed that we haven’t done in history but we’re focusing on ourselves,” backrower Piper Duck said.

“We understand that maybe we haven’t beaten them before but we have the correct people, mechanisms and facilities in place in order to put ourselves in the best place necessary to hopefully get this job done this weekend and we’re really excited.

“We have very good confidence coming off the back of Fiji. It just slofies what we have been putting in place, especially over the last campaign…I think right now we’re in a really good spot to challenge ourselves and outa  good challenge to New Zealand and hopefully bring the intensity.”

The 67-19 defeat in May stung the Wallaroos as the Black Ferns ran away with the contest right before the break.

Wallaroos centre Georgina Friedrichs believes they have made major improvements since in the quest to end their home Test calendar with a win.

“We’ve grown a lot as a team since then,” Friedrichs insists.

“We’ve taken a lot of learnings out of that game and hopeful the growth we’ve made shows and we can look to improve going into this week.

“We more try to focus on ourselves and not on anything else. We’re focused on what we can do to combat what they throw at us.

“To take it to the Kiwis, we need to stick to our processes and our work-rate needs to get us over the line. They like to play fast so if we can outwork them, I think we can get over them.”

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