Women's Rugby League World Cup Round 3

Round 2 brought us some great moments, the Jillaroos continued their winning ways by nilling England, Canada picked up their first ever World Cup win and New Zealand put in a dominant showing against the Cook Islands. With that being said we look to this weeks fixtures.

England vs The Cook Islands:
England's defence will have to be much better than last week, the Lionesses missed a colossal 54 tackles against the Jillaroos. Gaskin contributed 12 to that number and she will know that this has to improve. Forwards Emily Rudge and Beth Sutcliffe were invaluable last week with the metres they made, Sutcliffe made 108 and Rudge 112. England should enjoy a better share of possession and attacking opportunities in comparison to last week, the Aussies are never an easy game, with any luck the Lionesses are ready to reboot their tournament.

The Cook Islands too failed to score points against their opponents, New Zealand went out to put plenty of points on the Cook Islands, and they certainly did, 76 points to nil the final score. The Cook Islands will be hoping for more possession than last week, they only had a total of 20 sets and 41% of the possession, these stats highlight just how much of a one-sided affair this game actually was. To face New Zealand and Australia all in the space of a week is a huge challenge, and a loss to England will see them become the first team confirmed as out of the tournament.

Australia vs Canada:
The Jillaroos only negative comes in the second alleged biting offence of the tournament. Isabelle Kelly was later cleared of any wrong doing. The Aussies crossed 8 times last week, and there are plenty of tries expected this week too. Most of Australia's tries have come from their dynamic backs, Brigginshaw, Moran, Kelly and Ward have all provided, or helped provide, big points through their skill and creativity. Canada are going to have a really tough time stopping them from adding to their totals.

The Ravens put in a great showing last week against Papua New Guinea to earn their first ever World Cup win, the big talking point was powerhouse centre, Natasha Smith's hatrick. Smith would bully her way over the line from close range on 3 occasions to contribute to the 22-8 scoreline. The Jillaroos will be wary of this tactic as she was so hard to stop. Of course for this strategy to work, Canada have to get close to the Australian line, something that is far easier said than done. The Jillaroos limited England to just 930 run metres in the full 80 minutes, this shows just how much of a task this Canada side are facing.

New Zealand vs Papua New Guinea:
The Ferns are back to their insatiable best, so the world should watch out, the Kiwi's put an incredible 76 points past the Cook Islands last week. That's 14 tries scored by the Kiwi's, 6 of these coming from New Zealand winger Honey Hireme, the in form winger was a nightmare to defend against all day. She totalled 213 metres by the end of the 80 minutes, alongside 8 line breaks and 1 try assist to go with her 6 tries. If that doesn't put fear in the Kumuls defence, nothing will. The Kiwi's are showing all the signs of a side that will make the final, and even potentially win the competition.

Papau New Guinea struggled in their game against Canada, the loss could prove to be tournament ending as they still don't have a win. The Orchids have to beat this red hot New Zealand side, and hope that Canada take a battering at the hands of Australia, to keep their World Cup hopes alive. With this being their first World Cup everyone anticipated that this would be a learning curve, the Kumuls probably didn't realise just how steep that curve would be. There have been positive signs of development so far though, the Orchids are yet to be nilled, in fact they have managed two tries in both of their games so far. If they can register points against the Ferns, Papua New Guinea will probably take this as a moral victory.



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