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Jillaroos win the world cup! Australia defeat New Zealand 23-16

Caitlin Moran of the Jillaroos celebrates with team mates after winning the 2017 Rugby League Women's World Cup Final between Australia and New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)
Expert
2nd December, 2017
4

The Jillaroos are the 2017 Women’s Rugby League World Cup Champions after defeating the New Zealand Kiwi Ferns in a classic final that was in the balance until the final minutes.

New Zealand started the match like the proverbial house on fire and despite an early try from Isabelle Kelly, responded with two first-half tries that saw them take the lead. Late in the half, the Aussies finally found some fluency and took a narrow lead into the break.

In the second period, Australia always looked the most likely, especially after Kelly nabbed her second, yet McGregor’s late try threw the cat amongst the pigeons and the pressure on the home team grew.

Elianna Walton crashed over late in the game and seemingly iced the result for the Jillaroos yet after immense Kiwi Fern pressure, the game was in the balance right up to the final moments when Caitlin Moran slotted a neat field-goal to put the result beyond doubt.

The Kiwi Ferns tried hard and there was much to like about their performance, however the Australians always seemed to have the edge in class and are probably the deserved victors.

Caitlin Moran, Isabelle Kelly and Kezie Apps were outstanding in the final and the quality of football played in this game was more than impressive, despite the comments of one Roar member who seemed intent on deriding women’s Rugby League.

The result means back-to-back World Cup victories for Australia, defending their title won in England in 2013.

Congratulations Australia, and well played to New Zealand. A great final and something to whet the appetite for the next clash between these two great nations.

Final Score
Australia 23
New Zealand 16

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