Australia’s Jillaroos have recorded the biggest victory in Women’s Rugby League World Cup history, taking apart France 92-0 in their second group game.
Only two scorelines in the men’s tournament have ever been more lopsided — Australia’s 110-4 win over Russia in 2000, and England’s 94-4 victory against Greece earlier in this year’s edition.
Coming off a 74-0 tournament opener against the Cook Islands, the Jillaroos ran in 17 tries in York, holding 80 per cent of possession as a result.
It was one of a number of ridiculously lopsided statistics on the night, including Australia running for 1,619 metres, almost exactly 10 times as many as France’s 162, according to StatsPerform.
And despite completing 36 off 45 sets, the two-time defending champions only kicked the ball eight times, with almost half of their successful possessions ending in four-pointers. France completed six of nine sets.
On the other side of the ball, Australia was only called on to make 99 tackles, missing one, compared to France’s 313 tackles and 45 misses.
Only two of the Jillaroos’ tries were scored by forwards through middle — via stand-in captain Tallisha Harden and back rower Olivia Kernick — with the rest coming from a slick backline that France had no chance of stopping.
With coach Brad Donald resting stars such as first-choice fullback Sammy Bremner, halfback Ali Brigginshaw, gun centre Isabelle Kelly and back rower Kezie Apps, the Jillaroos showcased their depth.
Brigginshaw’s Broncos halves partner, Tarryn Aiken, stepped up to lead the team around the park in just her second game in green and gold, while fellow Bronco Jaime Chapman score a hat-trick on debut at centre.
Jess Sergis nabbed four tries and set up a number of others, while Julia Robinson had three on the wing.
Evania Pelite scored a double, while Aiken, Shenae Ciesiolka and stand-in fullback Emma Tonegato crossed for tries.
The Jillaroos led 58-0 at half-time and perhaps lost some killer instinct after the break as handling errors suggested a loss of concentration with the result already well in hand.
Australia’s third and final group match should be more of a contest against New Zealand on Friday morning (AEDT).
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