AUSTRALIA and New Zealand have booked spots in next Sunday’s Women’s World Cup semi-finals – while England, who lost 38-0 to the Jillaroos today, are virtually certain to feature in the last four.
The last berth is likely to be taken by Canada, subject to results in the closing Group fixtures, with Papua New Guinea also in the frame.
England – who will, on Wednesday, meet a Cook Islands side which lost 76-0 to New Zealand today after having been scuttled 58-4 by Australia in the tournament opener – applied early pressure against the Jillaroos through Faye Gaskin’s smart kick, only for the hosts to hold out. And despite further raids at various stages of the game the Lionesses rarely threatened to cross the whitewash, other than when Lois Forsell was held up and Charlotte Booth was unable to take a tight chance.
Australia, by contrast, posted a brace for Meg Ward and tries by Isabelle Kelly, Nakia Davis-Welsh, Chelsea Baker, Elianna Walton and Caitlin Moran, with Baker landing two goals and Moran having one success. Kelly, however, could be the subject of an investigation regarding an alleged biting incident late in the first half.
Sunday 19 November
GROUP A: Australia 38 England 0.
GROUP B: Canada 22 Papua New Guinea 8.
CROSS-GROUP: New Zealand 76 Cook Islands 0.
Wednesday 22 November
GROUP A: Cook Islands v England.
GROUP B: New Zealand v Papua New Guinea.
CROSS-GROUP: Australia v Canada.
Sunday 26 November
All games played at the Southern Cross Group Stadium, Sydney.
Saturday 2 December
WORLD CUP FINAL
Reports on all games played to date will feature in tomorrow’s League Express