Walton defies odds in heroic cameo
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.