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19th November 2017, 06:03 | englandrl
England Women fell to their first defeat of the Women’s Rugby League World Cup against reigning Champions the Australia Jillaroos at the Southern Cross Group Stadium today.
England had an early chance with just two minutes of the game played, as Jillaroos winger Chelsea Baker failed to collect scrum-half Faye Gaskin’s kick but the Australian defence stood strong.
Australia fought back and capitalised on an England penalty as Isabelle Kelly stretched over the try line to open the scoring for the afternoon.
England were awarded a penalty which once again gave the side prime field position and hooker Lois Forsell almost bundled herself over the line but was held up.
Moments later the Jillaroos bounced back as Meg Ward and Ali Brigginshaw combined to allow full-back Nakia Davis-Welsh to score under the posts. Chelsea Baker converted the try to extend their lead.
England defended back-to-back sets on their line before they were caught out wide by the opposition who were able to add a third try through Meg Ward in the left corner.
With a quarter of the game played, Australia were over the line again through Chelsea Baker as England failed to collect a last tackle kick.
Centre Isabelle Kelly almost scored her second try of the game but England’s defence stood strong before Elianna Walton forced herself over the line to add a fifth.
With minutes left of the first half, three back-to-back penalties by the Jillaroos gave England possession 20m out from the try line and the side had a real opportunity to get on the score sheet but Charlotte Booth failed to handle a pass out wide on the left-hand side.
A tackle by Chantelle Crowl on Corban McGregor forced an error by Australia and gifted possession 20m out but the Jillaroos successfully collected Kirsty Moroney’s grubber kick to keep England scoreless in the first half.
Australia opened the scoring in the second half through Kezie Apps to extend their lead to 28-nil.
England’s scrum-half Faye Gaskin intercepted a pass on the Jillaroos 20m line to give the side a real opportunity to score but they could not complete.
Australia piled the pressure on the line with repeat sets but failed to score until Caitlin Moran side-stepped her way through the defence to score under the posts and Meg Ward scored their seventh of the afternoon.