Wales’ World Cup campaign ends in heavy defeat by Black Ferns
Wales Women’s Rugby World Cup Squad 2022
Wales were comprehensively beaten in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final against the Black Ferns in Whangarei, conceding nine tries as they lost 55-3.
Wales brought plenty of physicality to this match against New Zealand and had the odd foray into Black Ferns’ territory, but all they had to show for their efforts was a Keira Bevan penalty.
Where their set-piece had caused the Black Ferns problems in the pool stage, here it was New Zealand who had the upper hand in the scrum while the Welsh lineout continually malfunctioned so when they did have opportunities in New Zealand territory they couldn’t capitalise.
In contrast, the tournament hosts showed how ruthless their back-line can be, with the likes of Portia Woodman and Theresa Fitzpatrick making huge metres. Woodman got the first try, with Ruby Tui, Sarah Hirini and Amy Rule also scoring tries before the break as Wales trailed 26-3.
The second half was a little scrappier, but New Zealand were still able to score five tries with Woodman, Luka Connor (two), Alana Bremner and Ruahei Demant all crossing.
Wales team to play New Zealand – Saturday 29 October
Jasmine Joyce; Lowri Norkett, Carys Williams-Morris, Hannah Jones (captain), Lisa Neumann; Elinor Snowsill, Keira Bevan; Cara Hope, Carys Phillips, Donna Rose, Natalia John, Gwen Crabb, Bethan Lewis, Alex Callender, Sioned Harries.
Replacements: Kelsey Jones, Gwenllian Pyrs, Sisilia Tuipulotu, Georgia Evans, Siwan Lillicrap, Ffion Lewis, Lleucu George, Megan Webb.
Australia 13-7 Wales
Wales face a nervous wait to see if they have done enough to secure a Rugby World Cup quarter-final place after they lost 13-7 to Australia.
They were on the back foot for much of the game and a losing bonus point, which takes them to five match points, may not be enough to see them through to the last eight as one of the two best third-placed teams – that will depend on other results.
Wales recovered from conceding a try within five minutes to level the scores midway through the first half. They were able to put pressure on the Wallaroos in the 22 after their opponents conceded several penalties and from a series of pick-and-goes close to the line Sioned Harries grounded the ball.
Elinor Snowsill’s conversion off the post made it 7-7 but the Wallaroos slotted a penalty just before the break to take a narrow lead into the second half.
Wales spent most of the second period on defensive duty – they made three times as many tackles as the Wallaroos during the game – and they did prevent them from building on their lead.
However, they were unable to capitalise on having a player advantage in the final ten minutes when Kaitlan Leaney was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Alex Callender. Robyn Wilkins missed touch from the resulting penalty and Wales couldn’t build any significant phases when they did have possession.
Their own ill-discipline proved costly, too, as it allowed Australia to gain field position and ultimately Lori Cramer slotted a second penalty to secure a 13-7 win.
Wales team to play Australia – Saturday 22 October
Niamh Terry; Jasmine Joyce, Carys Williams-Morris, Hannah Jones (captain), Lisa Neumann; Elinor Snowsill, Ffion Lewis; Cara Hope, Kelsey Jones, Cerys Hale, Natalia John, Gwen Crabb, Beth Lewis, Alex Callender, Sioned Harries.
Replacements: Carys Phillips, Caryl Thomas, Sisilia Tuipulotu, Georgia Evans, Siwan Lillicrap, Keira Bevan, Robyn Wilkins, Kerin Lake.
Wales 12-56 New Zealand
Wales were thumped 56-12 by New Zealand in their Rugby World Cup Pool A match at Waitakere Stadium in Auckland.
The Welsh arguably got the better of the set-piece exchanges – there were a few significant shoves at scrum time and they caused New Zealand problems with their maul – but they struggled to make ground in attack (just 127 carry metres to the hosts’ 773) and their defence fractured far too often.
Wales’ best patches came at the start and the end of the first half as they were able to pressurise the Black Ferns with their driving lineout. They didn’t get the rewards in the opening ten minutes but did have the final say of the opening period.
New Zealand’s ill-discipline allowed Wales to kick for touch and from a lineout five metres out their maul kicked into gear, then Ffion Lewis took the ball from the back and got over from close range.
So they had points on the board at the break but they still trailed 22-7 as their defence had let them down repeatedly. They were too easily splintered by the Black Ferns, missing 23 tackles in the first half alone.
With a 65% tackle success rate, scorelines can get ugly and so it proved. The hosts scored another six tries in the second half, often breaking tackles with ease, and that is an area they will need to tighten up ahead of their final pool game. As is their discipline – they conceded twice as many penalties as the Black Ferns.
Wales did get a second try in the closing minutes, Sioned Harries the beneficiary of another strong driving maul, but too often they were unable to capitalise on their opportunities – and allowed New Zealand to take theirs too easily.
They will now be focused on their final group match against Australia, which is set to decide who finishes second in Pool A.
Wales team to play New Zealand – Sunday 16 October
Kayleigh Powell; Jasmine Joyce, Megan Webb, Hannah Jones, Lisa Neumann; Elinor Snowsill, Ffion Lewis; Cara Hope, Kelsey Jones, Donna Rose, Siwan Lillicrap (captain), Natalia John, Gwen Crabb, Beth Lewis, Sioned Harries.
Replacements: Kat Evans, Caryl Thomas, Sisilia Tuipulotu, Abbie Fleming, Alex Callender, Keira Bevan, Robyn Wilkins, Kerin Lake.
Wales 18-15 Scotland
A late Keira Bevan penalty secured Wales a dramatic 18-15 victory over Scotland in their opening Rugby World Cup match.
It had looked like the game was heading for a draw when Megan Gaffney crossed for her second try in the 79th minute to make it 15-15 but there was time for a restart and Wales earned a penalty four minutes after the final buzzer had sounded.
Up stepped replacement scrum-half Bevan to take the kick and she was surrounded by her team-mates as the ball sailed through the posts.
Wales had led 15-5 at the break thanks and there was a real contrast to Wales’ two first-half tries. The opening one, after five minutes, came from what has been a strength of the team over the past few years – the driving maul. They had a couple of lineouts in the Scotland 22 and from a series of pick-and-goes following the second, Alisha Butchers got over the line.
Their next try, which came after Elinor Snowsill had added a penalty and Scotland had scored a try of their own, was a slick set move from a scrum in the opposition 22. Quick hands saw the ball go from Ffion Lewis to Hannah Jones to Elinor Snowsill to Megan Webb to Kayleigh Powell, who ran over.
However, both sides struggled to build any momentum in the second period, errors and penalties making it a very stop-start match. Plus, there was a lengthy delay while Elidh Sinclair was treated for an injury.
The first points of the half didn’t arrive until the 66th minute, when Wales were reduced to 14 players, and Scotland spread the ball wide from a scrum, with Gaffney scoring in the corner.
Yet for the scrappy nature of the first 70 minutes there was plenty of drama in the last ten. First Butchers made a brilliant break but was hauled down metres short of the line and then left the field injured – should she have passed to Bevan on the inside or Jasmine Joyce on the outside?
Then a series of penalties allowed Scotland to gain territory and when Joyce was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on, Lisa Thomson found touch in the 22. From the lineout Scotland built an attack that saw Gaffney go over for her second try, but Helen Nelson couldn’t kick the conversion.
While Nelson missed all her kicks from the tee, which would have made 12 points in all, Bevan made no mistake with the last kick of the match.
Next up for Wales? Tournament hosts New Zealand in Auckland.
Wales team to play Scotland – Sunday 9 October
Kayleigh Powell; Jasmine Joyce, Megan Webb, Hannah Jones (captain), Lisa Neumann; Elinor Snowsill, Ffion Lewis; Cara Hope, Carys Phillips, Donna Rose, Natalia John, Georgia Evans, Alisha Butchers, Alex Callender, Sioned Harries.
Replacements: Kelsey Jones, Caryl Thomas, Cerys Hale, Siwan Lillicrap, Bethan Lewis, Keira Bevan, Robyn Wilkins, Lowri Norkett.
Wales Women’s Rugby World Cup Squad 2022
Ioan Cunningham’s 32-strong Wales Women’s Rugby World Cup squad features 18 forwards and 14 backs, with Siwan Lillicrap named as captain and Hannah Jones vice-captain.
Sioned Harries, Elinor Snowsill and Caryl Thomas are heading to their fourth World Cup while, in contrast, 19 players are poised to play in the tournament for the first time.
Lowri Norkett, whose sister Elli played at RWC 2014 but tragically died in a car crash aged 20 in 2017, is amongst those selected and in line to make her World Cup debut.
Cunningham said, “We are delighted with the group we’ve settled on, we are really looking forward to seeing what we can do when we touch down in New Zealand next week.
“Siwan is a brilliant captain on and off field. She has a great tactical mind and an understanding of what calls to make at what moment. Her communication with referees and her game management skills are second to none. She certainly benefits the team in many ways.”
Here’s the Wales Women’s Rugby World Cup Squad.
Keira Bevan (28 Apr 1997/Bristol Bears/Scrum-half)
Lleucu George (12 Jan 2000/Gloucester-Hartpury/Centre)
Hannah Jones (14 Nov 1996/Gloucester-Hartpury/Centre)
Jasmine Joyce (9 Oct 1995/Bristol Bears/Wing)
Kerin Lake (24 May 1990/Gloucester-Hartpury/Centre)
Ffion Lewis (29 Jun 1996/Worcester Warriors/Scrum-half)
Lisa Neumann (23 Dec 1993/Gloucester-Hartpury/Wing)
Lowri Norkett (Worcester Warriors/Centre)
Kayleigh Powell (18 Feb 1999/Bristol Bears/Full-back)
Elinor Snowsill (7 Feb 1989/Bristol Bears/Centre)
Niamh Terry (27 Jun 1989/Worcester Warriors/Fly-half)
Meg Webb (9 Jan 2001/Bristol Bears/Centre)
Robyn Wilkins (1 Apr 1995/Exeter Chiefs/Fly-half)
Carys Williams-Morris (Loughborough Lightning)
Alisha Butchers (14 Jun 1997/Bristol Bears/Back-row)
Alex Callender (29 Jul 2000/Worcester Warriors/Back-row)
Gwen Crabb (28 Jun 1999/Gloucester-Hartpury/Lock)
Georgia Evans (29 Sep 1997/Saracens/Lock)
Kat Evans (9 Jan 1986/Saracens/Hooker or Flanker)
Abbie Fleming (31 Mar 1996/Exeter Chiefs/Back-row)
Cerys Hale (4 Apr 1993/Gloucester-Hartpury/Prop)
Sioned Harries (22 Nov 1989/Worcester Warriors /Back-row)
Cara Hope (24 Nov 1993/Gloucester-Hartpury/Prop)
Natalia John (15 Feb 1996/Worcester Warriors/Lock)
Kelsey Jones (1 Sep 1997/Gloucester-Hartpury/Hooker)
Bethan Lewis (19 Feb 1999/Gloucester-Hartpury/Back-row)
Siwan Lillicrap (21 Sep 1987/Gloucester-Hartpury/Back-row)
Carys Phillips (12 Nov 1992/Worcester Warriors/Hooker)
Gwenllian Pyrs (28 Nov 1997/Bristol Bears/Prop)
Donna Rose (5 Jun 1991/Saracens/Prop)
Caryl Thomas (19 Feb 1986/Worcester Warriors/Prop)
Sisilia Tuipulotu (14 Aug 2003/Gloucester-Hartpury/Prop)
Wales Women’s Rugby World Cup Fixtures 2022
(All kick-off times are UK & Ireland time)
Sun 9 Oct, Wales 18-15 Scotland
Sun 16 Oct, Wales 12-56 New Zealand
Sat 22 Oct, Australia 13-7 Wales
Sat 29 Oct, New Zealand 55-3 Wales
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