The Jillaroos were in a different class. (AAP Image/Craig Golding)
The Jillaroos were in a different class. (AAP Image/Craig Golding)

Jillaroos run riot over Ravens

JILLAROOS coach Brad Donald will have some brutal calls to make heading into the World Cup semi-finals, after Australia thrashed Canada 88-0 in the final pool round.

The relentless Jillaroos ran in 18 tries to none in Sydney, in what was an absolutely commanding performance and the biggest win of the 2017 women's tournament so far.

Zahara Temara, Vanessa Foliaki, Elianna Walton and Karina Brown notched up a hat-trick each while Corban McGregor and Chelsea Baker both bagged a double.

But they were not the only ones to up the heat, as halfback Maddie Studdon set up six tries - and claimed one for herself - in an attacking masterclass.

NIBBLED: Bite allegation mars Jillaroos win

Corban McGregor scored two tries in the rout. (AAP Image/Craig Golding)
Corban McGregor scored two tries in the rout. (AAP Image/Craig Golding)

Studdon was overlooked at the start of the tournament as the first choice No. 7, with Caitlin Moran handed the jersey.

Moran did more than enough in the opening two matches against Cook Islands and England to prove her worth alongside five-eighth Ali Brigginshaw, but there is no doubt Studdon made a powerful statement.

Temara is also a playmaker and is unlucky to not have had a run in the halves, but has played at lock and centre over the last week in two impressive performances.

Donald conceded that there were some major decisions to be made by the selectors over the coming days, particularly around the halves and the outside backs.

Elianna Walton adds to the total. (AAP Image/Craig Golding)
Elianna Walton adds to the total. (AAP Image/Craig Golding)

"It's a massive headache for the coaching staff but it's a really good place to be," he said.

"I think all of our halves have been really solid … We even played one of them on the edge in Zahara and she scored three tries.

"There was some disappointment around some of the girls that didn't get named in the initial 13 (prior to the tournament). But everyone has shown they're worth a spot in the final 17.

"It's going to be tough but we're going to have to look at every part of each player and what they bring to the team. It's just about getting the balance right.

"I've said it to the girls that I'm sure if we picked any 17 we would put on our best performance."

Donald said he and the selectors would spend the next two days going over video as they weigh up their decisions, with the line-up for Sunday's semi-final expected to be named on Saturday.

The Jillaroos will meet the Canada Ravens again on Sunday, in what is a huge boost to their hopes of making the World Cup final.

Fullback Samantha Bremner is also in line to play in the match, adding to Donald's selection woes, after the coaching staff held her back from the pool rounds to ensure she was 100 per cent fit from an ankle injury suffered in July's interstate challenge.

The only concern out of the clash was star forward Kezie Apps, who copped a knock to the thigh that she corked in the opening match against Cook Islands last week,

Donald said however that he is confident Apps will be ready for Sunday.

Canada will also sweat on the availability of back Janai Haupapa ahead of Sunday, after she was accused of biting Jillaroos co-captain Renae Kunst early in the first half.

The incident was put on report, with the match review committee to decide whether Haupapa needs to go to the judiciary.

Meanwhile, England will need to quickly turn around their form for their semi-final against New Zealand, after losing 22-16 to the Cook Islands.

In a massive upset, forward Te Amohaere Ngata-Aerengamate scored in the final 30 seconds to hand her side a shock victory.

AUSTRALIA 88 (Zahara Temara 3, Vanessa Foliaki 3, Elianna Walton 3, Karina Brown 3, Corban McGregor 2, Chelsea Baker 2, Maddie Studdon, Ruan Sims tries; Maddie Studdon 8 goals) leads CANADA 0



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