Cook Islands beat Finals Contenders
In the upset of the series, Cook Islands scored on the siren to beat England 22-16.
The underestimated Cook Islands led 16-0 at half time despite losing gun fullback Kiana Takaraingi to an ankle injury. While their attack was strong, it was their deadly defensive effort and England’s poor handling that gave them the upper hand.
After England scored three unanswered tries in the second half to draw level before Cook Islands scored a freakish try in the final minutes to win the match.
England survive the preliminary games despite a lone win against Papua New Guinea and face New Zealand on Sunday. The Cook Islands are bowing out despite producing the upset of the tournament.
England 16 (Slowe, Hardcastle, Bulman tries, Garner 2 goals)
Cook Islands 22 (Koiatu, Arona, Strickland, Ngata-Aerengamate tries, Schofield 3 goals)
Jillaroos prove Strength without Stars
The Jillaroos are heading into the finals undefeated, beating Canada 88-0 in the highest scoring game of the women’s World Cup.
Leading 44-0 at half time, the Jillaroos looked almost impossible to beat with their sharp attack, barging forwards and linking halves. While Canada tried hard to fight back and never gave up, it was their experience and possession that cost them.
The match was again overshadowed by biting accusations by Renee Kunsts against Janai Haupapa, who now faces a two game suspension.
With many of their stars rested; the Jillaroos are heading into the finals fresh and dangerous. Canada go on to their first ever finals, in which they’re the underdogs who might see success.
AUSTRALIA 88 (Zahara Temara 3, Vanessa Foliaki 3, Elianna Walton 3, Karina Brown 3, Corban McGregor 2, Chelsea Baker 2, Maddie Studdon, Ruan Sims tries; Maddie Studdon 8 goals)
New Zealand thump PNG with second half blitz
In what was originally a close game, New Zealand are heading into finals undefeated after beating Papua New Guinea 38-0.
It was a rough and physical contest with hard hits and tough line breaks, and PNG’s tough defence saw them only trailing 8-0 at half time and still in the contest.
Despite PNG’s best efforts, New Zealand scored a whopping seven unanswered tries in the second half, and could no longer be held back.
New Zealand now head into the finals as strong contenders, but the Orchids leave the World Cup in what has been a fantastic first year.
NEW ZEALAND 38 (Amber Kani 2, Luisa Gago, Raecene McGregor, Hilda Peters, Maitua Feterika, Atawhai Tupaea, Racquel Anderson, Annetta Nuuausala tries; Raquel Anderson 1 goal)