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By NSW Waratahs Media unit
POOL MATCH ONE: WALLAROOS v IRELAND
The Wallaroos have gone down swinging to host-nation Ireland in the opening round of the Women’s Rugby World Cup 19-17.
Head Coach Paul Verrell said the team’s performance was a huge improvement from their last match in the three-Test Tour of New Zealand.
“I’m proud of the way the team performed tonight, they put in a big effort and overall it was a great improvement from our tour of New Zealand,” he said.
“The team matched it with the Irish and for the majority of the match and matched them in physically and put in a solid defensive display.”
Both teams put in three tries each with the score line deficit coming down to mere conversions.
Debutante Mahalia Murphy scored a try with her first touch of the pill as her Seven’s counterpart Shannon Parry found her way over the line in the second half.
The narrow loss means that Australia has earned themselves a bonus point ahead of their second fixture against France on Monday morning (August 14, 4:45am AEST).
HOW IT HAPPENED:
21min: Larissa Mulhoon try, Nora Stapleton con, AUS 0-7 IRE
29min: Mahalia Murphy try, Samantha Treherne missed con AUS 5-7 IRE
56min: Shannon Parry try, Samantha Treherne missed con AUS 10-7 IRE
62min: Ciara Griffin try, Nora Stapleton con AUS 10-14 IRE
69min: Sophie Spence try, Nora Stapleton missed con AUS 10-19 IRE
73min: Hilisha Samoa try, Ashleigh Hewson con AUS 17-19 IRE
Ireland 19 (Larissa Mulhoon, Ciara Griffin, Sophie Spence tries; Nora Stapleton 2 cons)
defeated Australia 17 (Mahalia Murphy, Shannon Parry, Hilisha Samoa tries; Ash Hewson con)
Wallaroos Head Coach Paul Verrell has named seven NSW women in the playing 23 to face Ireland in the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup tournament opener on August 8th.
Six Sydney-siders and one NSW Country Corella will line up in the side which features Australian Sevens stars Mahalia Murphy, Shannon Parry and Sharni Williams.
Parramatta Two-Blue Chloe Butler will slot into the second row with enforcer Grace Hamilton set to don the #8 jersey.
Newcastle University’s Katrina Barker has been selected at scrumhalf and will seek to link up with the hard-running Parramatta centre, Kayla Sauvao.
Coming off the bench as replacement hooker is Warringah Ratettes skipper and NSW Rugby Development Officer Emily Robinson, while Sydney teammate and goal kicking extraordinaire Ash Hewson is set to provide cover in the back three.
Coach Paul Verrell says the Wallaroos have been toiling behind the scenes in preparation for the opening pool match against host-nation, Ireland.
“The team have been hard at work since we came together at Narrabeen over a week ago, and we’ve put together our strongest team to take on the tournament hosts,” Verrell said. “Our lead up to the 2017 tournament has been the best yet, with state based training and the Four Nations tournament providing us with a great platform to build from.
“There has been a lot of exposure of the Women’s game locally in the lead up to the tournament, and after a week of preparation in Ireland, the team are hungry to get out on the field.
“Facing Ireland first up will be a challenge, but it will also provide our girls the chance to set the tone of the tournament and produce a solid performance against the home-side in front of their fans.”
Wallaroos side to face Ireland:
1. Liz Patu – Queensland, Wests
2. Cheyenne Campbell – Queensland, Redlands
3. Hilisha Samoa – Queensland, Brothers
4. Chloe Butler – Sydney, Parramatta
5. Millie Boyle – ACT, Canberra Royals
6. Mollie Gray – Australian Defence Force (ADRFU), NSW, Maitland
7. Shannon Parry – Australian Sevens, Queensland, Redlands
8. Grace Hamilton – Sydney, Sydney University
9. Katrina Barker – NSW Country, Newcastle University
10. Trilleen Pomare* – Western Australia, Wanneroo
11. Mahalia Murphy* – Australian Sevens, NSW, Campbelltown
12. Sharni Williams – Australian Sevens, ACT, Canberra Royals
13. Kayla Sauvao – Sydney, Parramatta
14. Nareta Marsters – Queensland, Sunnybank
15. Samantha Treherne – Queensland, Sunnybank
16. Emily Robinson – Sydney, Warringah
17. Violeta Tupuola – ACT, Canberra Royals
18. Hana Ngaha – Queensland, Sunnybank
19. Rebecca Clough – Western Australia, Cottesloe
20. Alisha Hewett – Australian Defence Force (ADRFU), Queensland, GPS
21. Fenella Hake – Queensland, Redlands
22. Sarah Riordan – Australian Defence Force (ADRFU), Victoria, Melbourne Unicorns
23. Ashleigh Hewson – Sydney, Sydney University
August 10 (4:00am AEST) vs Ireland
August 14 (4:45am AEST) vs France
August 18 (2:00am AEST) vs Japan
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Northern Suburbs will be out to defend their 2016 premiership title while the Warringah Rats will be determined to secure their first victory since 2005 in Saturday’s Shute Shield Grand Final to be played at North Sydney Oval.