Wal­ton de­fies odds in heroic cameo

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT -

TWO years ago, doc­tors told Elianna Wal­ton she would never play rugby league again. Yes­ter­day, she de­liv­ered the mo­ment of magic that won Aus­tralia the World Cup.

Wal­ton was the Jil­la­roos’ su­per­sub at Sun­corp Sta­dium, pro­duc­ing the fear­less charge that broke New Zealand’s spirit and in­spired Aus­tralia’s 23-16 vic­tory in a pul­sat­ing World Cup de­cider.

With the Jil­la­roos cling­ing to a 16-10 lead early in the sec­ond half, the hulk­ing Wal­ton con­jured ar­guably the big­gest play of her ca­reer, crash­ing over in the 57th minute to give Aus­tralia a 22-10 ad­van­tage.

New Zealand pro­duced a fe­ro­cious late fight­back, but it was Wal­ton’s four-pointer that proved de­ci­sive as the Jil­la­roos de­fended grimly in the fi­nal 15 min­utes.

Wal­ton’s fear­less run crys­tallised her coura­geous life story.

In 2015, the mother of two col­lapsed at work fol­low­ing two con­cus­sions play­ing for her club side Greenacre.

She suf­fered tem­po­rary paral­y­sis down her left side and it was found she had a blood clot on her brain and was told she would never play league again.

She proved them wrong.

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