Wallaroos keep Finals hopes alive

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The Wallaroos, including 8 Sydney University Football Club products, have closed out a vital win, keeping them in the running for a quarterfinals appearance at the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup, staged in New Zealand.

On Saturday at Whangarei, the Wallaroos stuck it out against the Scots to prove grit and determination were what was needed to win.

Across defence, offence and scoring, performances by SUFC’s best helped secure the Aussie’s victory. Arguably the most notable performance came from  Lori Cramer, whose kicking, ultimately gained the Wallaroos the 2-point advantage in the 74th minute.

Despite being down 12-0 at halftime after an impressive, yet unsuccessful, maul defensive effort from the Australian pack, and a penalty try, the Wallaroos stayed composed.

The stats tell the story of this game.

The Aussies likely should have been able to put the Scots to the sword earlier than they did. With huge defensive efforts from Students Emily Chancellor and Grace Hamilton, who made 11 and 10 tackles, respectively, the Wallaroos were able to starve Scotland of the ball, ending the game with a 42%-58% possession split. But Scotland held their own, making 227 tackles (83% success) compared to Australia’s 120 (88%).

Another key stat difference that Australia didn’t quite take advantage of was their passes and runs. The Aussie women made 215 passes, including 9 offloads, while the Scots didn’t move the ball much, making only 136 passes and 1 offload. With ball in hand, the Wallaroos made 149 runs and retained 97% of their ball at the ruck. However, compared to the 77 runs made by Scotland, it appears the pressure from the Aussies did not convert to points.

This week (Saturday 22nd), the Wallaroos will face the challenge of defending their spot on the world rugby rankings above the Welsh.

Words by Ted Pearson.