How miserable was the New Zealand weather? It was either pouring with rain, blowing a gale or both. I hope the World Cup weather…
Wallaroos fullback Lori Cramer missed a penalty from almost in front as the fifth ranked Aussies fell to 12th-ranked Japan 12-10 in their Test match on the Gold Coast.
The Australians struggled with their execution and discipline but a penalty with 90 seconds left on the clock set them up for a come from behind victory.
Cramer had earlier missed two conversions as the teams scored two tries apiece.
“Lori Cramer will be filthy,” said former Wallaroos hooker Averyl Mitchell on the Stan Sport commentary after the Waratahs No.15 dragged her attempt wide.
“She’s by and large the best place kicker in Australia at the moment and it’s super uncharacteristic for her to miss those.”
Cramer went to the referee to complain about what she felt was movement by the opponents off the line as she moved in to take the attempt.
“There was an issue but the referee refereed the game and we take her on what she has seen,” said Wallaroos captain Shannon Parry.
“Our concern was that Japanese players were basically coming off the line on her approach to kick putting off the kicker. The referee was happy with it so we left it.
“We had a sight difference of opinion but the game doesn’t fully come down to that kick – we had a number of other opportunities to win the game and unfortunately couldn’t slot that goal.”
The Wallaroos got around in support of Cramer after fulltime.
The Aussies, who scored a strong win over Fiji on Friday were off form at Bond University. Japan had also beaten Fiji in the series nine days ago.
“It was definitely a tough Test match and to be honest we were probably our worst enemy today,” said Parry. “Every time we turned over the ball the Japanese made us pay – credit to them.
“They really smothered our attack, we struggled to secure our break down and get the ball back. We came in with a game plan and weren’t able to execute it.”
The match against Fiji was the Wallaroos first in more than 900 days and they were still fighting to find cohesion on Tuesday night.
“You look at this group we’ve been together less than 10 days, this is a good stepping stone and hopefully the team can learn from this,” said Parry.
Mitchell said it was a disappointing performance from the Wallaroos and left them with plenty of work ons as they continued to build towards a series against New Zealand and then the World Cup.
“A bit of whether it’s strategy, rejigging or game plan I’m not sure what it needs, but some work ons,” she said.
Aussie coach Jay Tregonning said she found positives from the performance.
“But there were definitely some execution things we could have done better we thought we had a good game plan going in but all credit to Japan – their defence was outstanding.”