Clinical Canadians too good for the Wallaroos

NZR     07 Jun 2014     NZR

Despite only leading 5-0 at half-time, the Canadians continued to press in the second half and were rewarded with two further tries in a convincing display.

Captain Kelly Russell was at the heart of her side's performance and deservedly crossed the third and final try of the afternoon in front of a satisfied crowd at the Tauranga Domain.

A gritty Australia was dogged in defence and countered the Canadians' fast-paced attack superbly. In doing so the brave Wallaroos denied their North American opponent on a number of occasions.

But ultimately fatigue set in and with 25 minutes they conceded twice to ensure they finished the series with two defeats.

Canada's first-ever performance against Australia was by no means a perfect one. There were still the occasional errors and some wayward kicking from Katrina Burke meant the score wasn't as large as it could have been.

But a commanding display from their forward pack, some slick back line work and superior fitness were the ingredients that made for Canada's historic victory.

Head Coach Francois Ratier will also be proud of the type of tries his side scored. Tries from a rolling maul and a superb back line move that saw Russell score in the corner. His side's first, to flanker Jacey Murphy, also illustrated the relentless pressure the Canadian forwards had their opponents under.

Magali Harvey's kicking game was superb for the Canadians, with her two conversions and fine open play only enhancing her chances to start Tuesday's first of two games against the Black Ferns.

For Australia, first five-eighths Tui Ormsby had a mixed performance, while halfback Nita Maynard gave her side some much needed direction, as did the dangerous Chloe Butler.

They return home having been beaten by New Zealand, Canada and fatigue. Having conceded five tries in the final quarters of both games, Australia illustrated the importance of needing to play more international rugby.

What will concern Head Coach Paul Verell most, however, was his side's naively on attack. Whether through indecision or poor ball handling, Australia was left wondering on defence and paid for it.

Canada, meanwhile, illustrated why match fitness was the best form of preparation.

Tauranga Domain will host Canada for the second time in the series when they tackle New Zealand, before the final match of the series takes place in Whakatane on Saturday.