by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
The Rock-itt : October 2010
the supporters as everyone looked at the dwindling clock. But the Australians just stepped it up another notch; they had worked too hard and were too close to not finish the task. And fittingly, after an incredible game, Centre Sharni Williams got the ball and stepped her opposite at the 22 metre line. Straightening again as she does so well, she then dummied the fullback to score under the posts and secure her team a berth in the semi's at the Twickenham Stoop on Wednesday. Aust vs England -- Semi final at Twickenham Stoop (0-15) And this is where Australia's lack of test match preparation becomes evident. The pure heart and passion, the incredible individual skill, the desire, the coaching .... It's all there. They just lack the polished finesse of the other top 3 finishers who play test matches regularly each year. The first 15 minutes of the game was played conservatively and somewhat traditionally with both sides kicking extensively for territory. England retained the majority of possession in the first half and scored a well earned forward try from a 5 metre scrum to England captain and #8 Catherine Spencer. Their only other try came from some brilliant footwork and individual skill of fullback, Danielle Waterman. The more seasoned England team broke the line on several occasions only to be shut down by the scrambling and gallant defence of the Australians. Tackle of the match, and quite possibly of the tournament, was by the left wing, Nicole Beck. When England's Alice Richardson broke through the midfield and linked with winger Emily Pocock, a try looked a certainty. From the opposite wing, former Australian Touch Football representative Beck, came at lightning speed and with textbook technique took Pocock out over the sideline and unfortunately for the English winger, out of the rest of the tournament. The Wallaroos kept up the defensive intensity throughout the second half keeping England from scoring any tries, their only points coming from a late penalty. With instruction to stop kicking possession away, Australia finally got some ball out wide and looked dangerous in attack. The England side however, equally committed defensively, held the determined Wallaroos out and kept them scoreless. Fittingly, England progressed to play a home final against New Zealand -- the third time in a row the sides have met in a World Cup Final. Disappointed, the Wallaroos now had a chance to finish third by beating France. The only threat to this charge would be the fact that France play a similar "nothing to lose" style of rugby to the Wallaroos and would be equally determined to finish third. Aust vs France (22-8) Both teams showed signs of fatigue from the physical intensities of the tournament and as such the game was lacklustre. For the first 15 minutes both teams struggled to string consecutive phases together, with handling errors and referee Dana Teagarden's petulance for the whistle meaning the only consistent element of the game were the turnovers. Having played more games together in the past ten days than they had in the past four years, the Australian units were now slick in their combinations. The Backrow were again faultless with Bec Trethowan standing out for her exceptional support play. She was rewarded for her incredible work rate with a try in the corner after a clever break by Captain Cheryl Soon. Also standing out in the forwards was Vice Captain, Chris Ross. The towering second rower was dominant at lineout and scrum time but also linked perfectly in support play providing the wallaroos with another ball runner. Fellow Warringah player, Cobie-Jane Morgan also made the most of her first start in the Inside Centre position, making several line breaks and finishing off a great run by Sharni Williams to score under the posts. Although still inexperienced in 15s rugby, Morgan showed that her ability to throw a 30 metre lateral pass provides a handy attacking option out wide. As expected the French never gave up conceding only three points in the second half and forcing a try of their own through replacement, Manol Andre. Wallaroo winger Nicole Beck was again brilliant, covering huge territory to cover defend as well as creating attacking options with her scintillating turn of pace. Despite being given a yellow card for repeat infringements her consistent performance proved why she was nominated for the IRB Women's Personality of the Year. Battered but relieved, the Wallaroos had taken third place with their 22-8 victory over France and deservedly took a lap of honour to thank their supporters. The World Cup Final was a gruelling battle in which defending champions New Zealand just edged out the home favourites England, 13-10. The record crowd of 13,253 dedicated supporters of Women's Rugby was a good indication of just what this game meant. With three quarters of the crowd wearing red and white, the tune of Sweet Chariot soon echoed around Twickenham. But despite having the best program and national structure, the England side failed to capitalise on scoring opportunities and for the third World Cup in a row succumbed to the magic of the Black Ferns. It is now time for the Australian Rugby Union to invest further in the development of the Wallaroos and in the National Women's Program in general. Surely there are ways to overcome our geographical isolation so that a team of this incredible talent plays more test matches in between World Cups to better compete on the International Stage.