Super Jillaroos thrash Canada 88-0
Allegations of biting have again reared their ugly head in the Women's Rugby League World Cup as the Jillaroos recorded a romping 88-0 victory over the Canada Ravens in their final-round clash at Southern Cross Group Stadium on Wednesday.
Jillaroos forward Renae Kunst was adamant she was bitten on the right arm by Ravens centre Janai Haupapa in the 18th minute, with the matter placed on report following an official on-field complaint.
The incident did little to dampen Australia's dominance with the home side piling on nine tries in both halves.
Hat-tricks to Tamara Zahara, Vanessa Foliaki, Elianna Walton and Karina Brown highlighted the win, while halfback Maddie Studdon has given coach Brad Donald food for thought leading into the crunch stage of the tournament after a strong performance in the No.7 jersey.
Australia will meet the Ravens once again in the semi-final clash on Sunday following Cook Islands' shock 22-16 upset over England.
Back-rower Foliaki got things started for the Jillaroos early with Studdon providing the pinpoint cut-out pass for the 24-year-old to dive over the line.
The left-side defence of the Ravens continued to have problems seven minutes later when Studdon sent Zahara over in a near identical play, before the crafty halfback turned inside for local Cronulla Sharks player Corban McGregor to go over.
A long-range team effort was finished off by winger Chelsea Baker for the side's fourth of the afternoon.
Studdon continued her strong first half, finishing off a grubber kick from halves partner Ali Brigginshaw in-goal before linking up with Zahara for a double three minutes later.
Some lazy defence from the Ravens at the 20-metre restart was swooped upon by McGregor who ran 80 metres to score under the posts, with another four-pointer to Zahara – her third for the day – setting up a huge advantage at the break.
Skipper Ruan Sims was next to go over for her first of the tournament with a charging run, and front-rower partner Walton followed it up after the break to finish off a late Brigginshaw offload to continue the onslaught.
Walton carried five defenders over for the line for her second in the 58th minute as Australia continued to enjoy a weight of possession and field position.
The Canadians – with a predominant rugby union background across the park – were struggling to keep up with the Jillaroos' speed of play, constantly pinned for being inside the 10 metres late in the game.
Another grubber from Studdon sent Foliaki over for a third, before utility Lavina O'Mealey split through the middle of the field to send Karina Brown over for the side's 14th of the afternoon.
A further two tries to wingers Baker and Brown on either edge set up the side's biggest margin victory in four years – eclipsing a romping 72-0 win over France in the 2013 tournament.
Walton grabbed a third with minutes remaining through another barnstorming effort, before Brown split the Ravens defence on the siren to join the hat-trick club late and ice a comfortable win.
Australian Jillaroos 88 (Tamara Zahara 3, Vanessa Foliaki 3, Elianna Walton 3, Karina Brown 3, Corban McGregor 2, Chelsea Baker 2, Ruan Sims, Maddie Studdon tries; Maddie Studdon 8 goals) defeated Canada Ravens 0 at Southern Cross Group Stadium. Half-time: Jillaroos 44-0.