(Photo from NRL.com)
For a while – 13 years to be precise – it was all New Zealand as they dominated the World Cup arena but in 2013, that reign is over, as the Australia’s female rugby league side, the Jillaroos, have beaten New Zealand 22-12 in the final.
In what was a tense affair, it was the Australians who broke their 13 year drought, as they held on in the second half to win despite a late onslaught by the New Zealand side, determined to get over the line.
It is the first ever win for the Jillaroos at the World Cup and New Zealand’s first ever loss.
Coach Paul Dyer, who was filling in for the ill Graham Murray, said the win was a team effort and was a victory dedicated to their ill coach.
â€œThis was a true team effort by all 23 players,â€ Jillaroos coach Paul Dyer said.
â€œWe never gave up against a bigger and stronger team and in the end, wore them down with brilliant defence.
“We dedicate this win to Graham Murray our former coach who was struck down with illness just prior to the World Cup campaign.â€
It was a great Rugby League Festival for Australian sides, with the Students, the Armed Forces and the Police sides Levitra Online all winning their grand finals also .
The Kiwis were graceful in defeat, admitting that the Australian side were better on the night.
“The Australians played better as a team,” said the Kiwi Ferns coach Lynley Tierney-Mani.
“They had patience and composure and they deserved the win. Our set completion wasn’t great and they kept wearing us down. They chased us and they caught us.
“Our heads are held high though. Everyone gave everything â€“ both the players, including those that didn’t play today, and the staff. It was a real gutsy effort and I’m very proud of them all.”
With Australian captain Karen Murphy retiring from international duties, the win was a fitting way to end her career with the Jillaroos.
Honey Hireme, New Zealand’s captain, also admitted that the Australian deserved the win, as she herself was a winner, but with the NZ Union 7’s side in Moscow.
“We were in it until late in the match,” Hireme said.
“But we made more mistakes than we could afford and they played 80 minutes. We’re absolutely gutted, but the girls are aware they’ve done their families proud â€“ and so have the Australians.
“The Aussies are ecstatic right now and good on them. They have had some tough losses before and now is their moment.”