8 Nov 2022
What are the teams for Australia v New Zealand women at the Rugby League World Cup?
Check out the teams in the battle between the reigning champions and the most successful team
By Paul Eddison
The defending champions take on the most successful team in the tournament’s history in a huge encounter between New Zealand and Australia in York.
At stake is top spot in Group B and in theory, the easier semi-final for the Antipodean rivals, who have both already clinched a spot in the final four.
Convincing wins over France and the Cook Islands have underlined their status as the teams to beat in England but we should get a better idea of where they stand after Thursday’s clash at York Community Stadium.
The Jillaroos are yet to concede a try, with Julia Robinson and Evania Pelite having already racked up five tries apiece.
While they have seen their line breached once, in a 34-4 win over the Cook Islands, the Kiwi Ferns have also been unstoppable, with 14 tries in two matches.
Their only two prior defeats in the competition have been the last two finals, both against Australia. In fact, the Jillaroos are the only team to have ever beaten them, including an active streak of four straight wins against their biggest rivals.
Australia: 12 Tarryn Aiken, 1 Kezie Apps, 13 Shaylee Bent, 2 Samantha Bremner, 3 Ali Brigginshaw, 14 Lauren Brown, 15 Jaime Chapman, 16 Kennedy Cherrington, 18 Yasmin Clydsdale, 8 Keeley Davis, 7 Tallisha Harden, 20 Caitlan Johnston, 21 Keilee Joseph, 5 Isabelle Kelly, 23 Shannon Mato, 10 Julia Robinson, 11 Jessica Sergis, 4 Simaima Taufa, 6 Emma Tonegato
New Zealand: 5 Madison Bartlett, 23 Brianna Clark, 13 Georgia Hale, 12 Amber-Paris Hall, 22 Karli Hansen, 8 Mya Hill-Moana, 24 Mele Hufanga, 14 Nita Maynard, 7 Raecene McGregor, 4 Page McGregor, 11 Roxy Murdoch-Masila, 1 Apii Nicholls, 10 Annetta-Claudia Nu’uausala, 15 Abigail Roache, 18 Otesa Pule, 9 Krystal Rota, 3 Autumn-Rain Stephens Daly, 17 Christyl Stowers, 2 Katelyn Vaha’akolo
New Zealand have had the better of the head-to-head over the course of the rivalry, with 16 wins from 24 meetings.
However, as mentioned earlier, Australia have closed that gap, with four of those eight wins come in their last four meetings.
At World Cups, New Zealand have won five and lost two against Australia.
Australia have not only not conceded a point so far in this Rugby League World Cup, they are also yet to concede a line break in the competition.
Australia are on a run of ten successive wins including the 74-0 victory against the Cook Islands followed by a 92-0 win against France. They have also won four straight against New Zealand, who last beat them in 2016. They are aiming for a hat-trick of World Cup victories having lifted the trophy in each of the last two tournaments.
New Zealand record
The Kiwi Ferns have won their last four internationals, with Australia the last, and only, team to have beaten them. Since then, they have recorded wins over Samoa and Tonga, as well as the group successes over France (46-0) and the Cook Islands (34-4). They won the first three Women’s Rugby League World Cups, and have lost to Australia in the final in the last two.
Two on debut, a stellar performance from Mele pic.twitter.com/qZ9GaG009b
— NZ Rugby League (@NZRL_Kiwis) November 7, 2022
Players to watch
- Australian duo Jessica Sergis and Samantha Bremner have each crossed for four tries in the competition so far, no mean feat considering both have played just one match. They both feature in this encounter and will have a big role to play for the Jillaroos.
- With four line breaks against the Cook Islands on debut, there is no question that Mele Hufanga is a real game breaker for New Zealand, and the cross-code convert will take some stopping.
The Rugby League World Cup promises to be the biggest, best and most inclusive event in the sport’s 127-year history with men’s, women’s and wheelchair teams competing in 61 games across 21 venues throughout England. Tickets are available via rlwc2021.com/tickets