12 Nov 2022
What are the teams for Australia v Papua New Guinea women at the Rugby League World Cup?
A place in the final is at stake
By James Reid
Holders Australia and Papua New Guinea have each named their squads for Monday’s semi-final in York, as both sides vie for a place in Saturday’s final in Manchester.
The Jillaroos will look to maintain their defence of the crown they earned in 2017, as they look to make it three titles in a row.
For the PNG Orchids, the prize is an historic first-ever appearance in the showpiece, having previously lost all three of their group games in their inaugural Rugby League World Cup appearance four years ago.
Australia welcome back the seven players who were rested for their 10-8 victory over New Zealand in their final group match, as Evania Pelite, Shenae Ciesiolka, Taliah Fuimaono, Holli Wheeler, Tallisha Harden, Olivia Kernick and Keilee Joseph return.
The two tries the Jillaroos conceded on Thursday was the first time their backline had been breached all tournament, meaning a tough encounter faces their opponents.
But the PNG Orchids won’t be cowed by the challenge that awaits them, having already shown huge progress from four years ago and earned their first two Rugby League World Cup wins.
Australia: 6 Emma Tonegato, 24 Evania Pelite, 5 Isabelle Kelly, 15 Jamie Chapman, 17 Shenae Ciesiolka, 19 Taliah Fuimaono, 14 Lauren Brown, 7 Tallisha Harden, 8 Keeley Davis, 9 Holli Wheeler, 22 Olivia Kernick, 13 Shaylee Bent, 21 Keilee Joseph
Interchanges: 2 Sammy Bremner, 20 Caitlan Johnston, 11 Jess Sergis, 3 Ali Brigginshaw, 16 Kennedy Cherrington, 1 Kezie Apps
Papua New Guinea: 5 Shae-Yvonne de la Cruz, 17 Martha Molowia, 3 Belinda Gwasamun, 4 Shellie Long, 2 Anika Butler, 6 Sera Koroi, 7 Lilah Malabag, 8 Elsie Albert, 9 Therese Aiton, 10 Gloria Kaupa, 15 Bertshiba Awoi, 12 Essay Banu, 13 Jessikah Reeves
Interchanges: 19 Talitha Kunjil, 11 Emily Veivers, 1 Tara Moxon, 21 Carol Humeu, 22 Shirley Joe Windanga, 16 Michelle John-Ikupu
This will be the first time Australia and Papua New Guinea have faced each other in a full international.
However, the two sides are no stranger to one another, having most recently faced each other in the Women’s PM’s XIII match in September.
The Australian Jillaroos have scored an average of 59 points per game at the 2021 women’s Rugby League World Cup – the second-most of any team at a single edition of the tournament (63 – New Zealand in 2003).
Australia have won their last 11 consecutive women’s Tests, only twice conceding 10 points or more in a game in that period; their last defeat came against New Zealand in May 2016 (26-16).
Papua New Guinea record
Papua New Guinea have won three of their last four women’s Tests with a 42-4 defeat to England their only loss in that term; they had never previously won a women’s Test from all seven attempts prior.
Players to watch
- Emma Tonegato (Australia) has made 45 tackles without missing a single attempt at the 2021 women’s Rugby League World Cup; among players yet to register a missed tackle only France’s Cyndia Mansard (59) has made more tackles.
- Elsie Albert (Papua New Guinea) has made 57 carries and 59 tackles at the 2021 women’s Rugby League World Cup, making her one of only three players to have made at least 50 of each (Megan Pakulis – 76 runs, 126 tackles; Elisa Ciria – 50 runs, 83 tackles).
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