9 Nov 2022
Canada 22-16 Brazil: Fittes try at death breaks Amazonas' hearts
The Ravens ended their campaign with a win as Brazil came ever so close to history at Headingley
By Megan Armitage at Headingley Stadium
Alanna Fittes' last-gasp try broke Brazilian hearts as Canada closed their World Cup with a nail-biting 22-16 victory
Ferris Sandboe, Megan Pakulis, Sarah Maguire and Patricia Bodeman also crossed to give the Ravens their sole World Cup victory in Leeds.
Brazil bow out of the tournament with no wins from three but bid a fond farewell as Edna Santini's emphatic length-of-the-pitch try made a case for the score of the women' tournament so far.
It was a see-saw match with both sides looking to impress having failed to qualify for the semi-finals and the Headingley crowd was bustling with support for the two sides.
Brazil roared into action, remedying their performance in the 70-0 defeat to Papua New Guinea with some structured play early in the match.
And Franciny Amaral drew first blood as she thundered forward and slid over the line in the 6th minute before a line break from Natalia Momberg nearly brought them a second in quick succession.
The Ravens were helped by the finishing skills of the Amazonas,who struggled to capitalise on further promising forays forward by Momberg and Santini.
Canada finally began to settle after 20 minutes as Maddy Aberg carved her way down the pitch and out of her own half.
Her surge of energy seemed to ignite the Ravens as they suddenly turned the tables, camping close to Brazil's line before Sandboe claimed their first points, dotting down in the right-hand corner.
Mike Castle's side took control of the game before the break as Maguire easily slipped past the Brazil defence to cross for their second and the lead.
Adberg continued to be a charging force down the middle but a poor pass from Dani Franada to Sandboe denied them a third with the match evenly poised at 10-6 at half-time.
A spectacular solo score by Santini got the second half underway as the 2016 Olympic rugby sevens athlete plucked the ball out of thin air during a Canada set and charged the full length of the pitch to score.
It was a close back and forth battle but the Ravens scrambled again and player of the match Pakulis reclaimed the lead for her side with her 20th carry of the night, burrowing over the line with 20 minutes left.
The excitement grew as the Amazonas clawed their way back into the Canada half and Bodeman snuck across the line with just six minutes to go.
The clock was against both sides as it ticked down to full-time, but it was Canada who walked away victorious as Fittes chased down the loose ball and grounded for the try.
The Rugby League World Cup promises to be the biggest, best and most inclusive event in the sport’s 127-year history with men’s, women’s and wheelchair teams competing in 61 games across 21 venues throughout England. Tickets are available via rlwc2021.com/tickets