The Jillaroos have taken out the 2017 World Cup by beating the Kiwi Ferns 23 – 16 in the final played at Suncorp Stadium.
After dominate campaigns by both teams, it was a tough and close game that went down to the final minutes.
In what was a challenging and close first half, the Jillaroos were uncharacteristically scrappy, struggling against a physical Kiwi Ferns attack. Despite this, they opened the scoring through a try by Isabelle Kelly on the left edge.
Several minutes later Honey Hireme levelled the scores after the Jillaroos were penalised for a high tackle and allowed the Kiwi Ferns to march upfield. Hireme showed her try scoring ability by crossing the line yet again moments later when a Chelsea Baker dropped a kick which had the Jillaroos back defending their line.
Australia were able to redeem themselves in the dying minutes of the half when Caitlin Moran stepped and dummied her way across the line, then converted to put the Jillaroos ahead by 2.
The second half seemed was an even contest with both teams looking to break each others defence. It was the Jillaroos who got the upper hand thanks to an Ali Brigginshaw grubber being chased through and grounded by Kelly to score her second try of the match.
Kelly’s try was all it took for Australia to get on a roll, with Elianna Walton barging through the defensive line minutes later to push the score to 22-10.
New Zealand were determined to stay in the game, and narrowed the gap with a try to Raecene McGregor after an excellent offload from Krystal Murray.
The final minutes were played with plenty of desperation as both teams looked for victory on a humid Brisbane afternoon. It was until a knock on by Shontelle Woodman in the dying moments that gave Caitlin Moran an opportunity to seal the game with a field goal.
While there were many standout players, Brigginshaw took out player of the match in what has been a fantastic campaign for her.
Australian Jillaroos 23 (Kelly 2, Moran, Walton tries; Moran 3 goals, field goal)
New Zealand Kiwi Ferns 16(Hireme 2, McGregor tries; Nati goals).
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