Beaten Wal­la­roos still eye top four spot

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - FIONA BOLLEN

TOP four is still the goal for the Wal­la­roos dep­side nar­rowly los­ing their open­ing Women’s Rugby World Cup match to Ire­land yes­ter­day.

It was a spir­ited per­for­mance from the Aussie un­der­dogs who went down by just two points 19- 17, but they are now faced with a huge task to qual­ify for semi- fi­nals.

The top na­tions from each of the three pools au­to­mat­i­cally progress with the fourth po­si­tion filled by the ‘ next best’ fin­isher.

Aus­tralia have to play France and then Ja­pan and will need big wins in each to have a shot at qual­i­fy­ing. France de­feated Ja­pan 72- 14 in their open­ing game and sit top of Pool C af­ter the first round.

Aus­tralia cap­tain Shan­non Parry said they knew they had a harder path now but they were still con­fi­dent they could go home hav­ing achieved their top four goal.

“For us it was top four fin­ish and to be hon­est that’s not out of reach yet,” Parry said.

“We’ve got a huge game against France in a cou­ple of nights. If we can win there and a cou­ple of re­sults go our way any­thing is pos­si­ble.

“We’re four.”

It has been a rapid rise for the Aussie women, who just 10 months ago had a record loss to New Zealand when they were de­mol­ished 67- 3 dur­ing a two- Test tour.

But they reined in that score next up for a 29- 3 re­sult and found more points in them­selves dur­ing the Quad Se­ries tour­na­ment in June. still aim­ing at top

Pic­ture: SCOTT RAD­FORD- CHISHOLM

FO­CUSED: Townsville Flames point guard Rachael McCully takes it to the Lo­gan Thun­der de­fence.

Shan­non Parry of Aus­tralia.

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