An undisciplined Wallaroos side has squandered a double-digit lead to lose 22-10 to Canada and finish winless in the Pacific Four Series.
- The Wallaroos led 10-0 and still lost for the second time in the Pacific Four tournament
- Australia finished bottom of the four-team table behind Canada, New Zealand and USA
- Australia finished with 14 players after repeat infringements saw Madison Schuck sin binned
Australia finished the four-nation round robin tournament with one point at the bottom of the table.
Two Canada tries in six minutes either side of half-time on Saturday turned the game around in wet conditions in Whangarei, New Zealand.
A third try three minutes from full time gave the scoreboard a more realistic look as world number four ranked Canada dominated possession and territory.
They had twice as many carries and eighth-ranked Australia had to make 100 more tackles and gave away 10 more penalties.
Australia were down a player for the last eight minutes when reserve prop Madison Schuck was sin-binned, as referee Lauren Jenner finally lost patience after warning them for committing numerous infringements.
“We obviously came out very strong and in that second half we gave away too many penalties,” Wallaroos captain and flanker Shannon Parry told Stan Sport.
For the second time in the series, Australia couldn’t hold on after leading 10-0 and conceded more than 20 straight points.
The Wallaroos executed well from a lineout with hooker Ashley Marsters crashing over in the fourth minute from a rolling maul.
Winger Lori Cramer converted and added a penalty to give Australia a 10-0 lead inside 13 minutes.
However, they spent most of the rest of the half on the back foot and only dogged defence and some Canadian handling errors preserved the lead.
Cramer held up Canada prop DaLeaka Menin over the line, but the gold defensive wall was finally breached just before the break, when Canada hooker Emily Tuttosi scored in identical fashion to Marsters.
Captain and number 8 Sophie de Goede converted to ensure Australia held just a three-point lead at half time.
Canada halfback Justine Pelletier scampered over the line early in the second half after de Goede detached from the back of a scrum.
De Goede missed the conversion from in front, but Canada took control and Australia rarely threatened to score.
Australia withstood a 23-phase passage, but Canada were subsequently awarded a close range penalty which De Goede converted in the 64th minute and reserve forward Alex Ellis scored their third try just before the end.
In the second half Australia struggled to maintain possession, fumbling on a number of occasions, as Canada continued to dominate.
Back rower Grace Kemp, who made her debut off the bench, provided a rare second half highlight for the Australians with one barnstorming run.
“I think there’s a lot to take away for a young group, we’ve really come together over this tour, even though we haven’t got the results,” Parry said.
“We’ve learnt a lot about ourselves, I think it will put us in good stead come World Cup towards the end of the year.”
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