Wallaroos Seek Redemption Against Rival All Blacks in Epic Pacific Four Series Finale

The Wallaroos need a victory against the All Blacks to cement their spot in the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 and WXV 1 2024. With both teams reeling from surprise defeats, the stage is set for an epic trans-Tasman clash that will have major implications for the future of women’s rugby.

Rugby: Pacific Four Series 2024 Set for Thrilling Conclusion

As the World Rugby Pacific Four Series 2024 reaches its conclusion in North Harbour this Saturday, both New Zealand and Australia are seeking to bounce back from surprise defeats and finish the series on a high note. The Wallaroos, in particular, need to clinch a victory against their trans-Tasman rivals to secure their place in the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 and WXV 1 2024.

“Regardless of the outcome of the weekend, we’re going to come away and be competitive, but WXV1 is where we want to be, that’s everything, so this game is massive,” said winger Maya Stewart, one of the try-scorers against the USA.

Australia’s hopes of qualifying for these marquee events took a hit last week when they fell 32-25 to the USA, despite leading 22-8 at halftime. However, the team managed to secure two valuable bonus points, leaving them just three points adrift of the Women’s Eagles and still in contention for a top-three tournament finish.

The Wallaroos’ task will be even more challenging as they’ll be without their outstanding flanker, Ash Marsters, who picked up an ankle injury in the previous match. New Zealand, on the other hand, suffered their first-ever loss to Canada in 18 matches, going down 22-19 in Christchurch, further underscoring the unpredictability of women’s rugby at the moment.

“It shows that every game is a test match and it’s not just a one-sided game. We’re definitely competitive, and the Canada game showed that last week,” added Stewart.

While New Zealand have dominated the recent O’Reilly Cup encounters, winning the last two by an aggregate of 93-3, the Wallaroos remain confident that their best is yet to come under new head coach Jo Yapp.

“I think there’s just teething issues. Jo’s (Yapp) come on board, and it’s so refreshing to have a new coach, and we’re still learning under her,” explained Stewart. “I think the Canada game was exciting for us, and the same as the USA game. I think that’s what exciting about this week is that it’s a new game, a new chapter, and we’re able to come out and maybe put all that together for a full 80, which we haven’t done in the past years.”

Even if Australia manage to pull off a victory, it would not improve their position in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings, as they are too far adrift of France above them. Similarly, a win for New Zealand would not see them catch up to the top two, England and Canada, but a defeat to the Wallaroos would see them drop to a new all-time low of fourth.

Regardless of the outcome, New Zealand have already qualified for WXV 1 later this year, as they are guaranteed a top-three finish in the series.

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