Wallaroos defeated by Canada as pressure turns on Yapp’s side ahead of USA clash


The Wallaroos’ new era under Jo Yapp has got off to a losing start, with Canada spoiling the party by recording a 33-14 win at Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening.

Behind a dominant forward pack, the visitors ran in five tries to the Wallaroos’ two to record the comfortable win.

The result turns the pressure up immediately on the Wallaroos ahead of next Friday’s clash with the United States of America, with Yapp’s side needing one win from their opening three matches to qualify for WXVI later this year.

“Good first match, obviously disappointed in that result,” captain Michaela Leonard said.

“Props to Canada, they came out and played a physical and fast game.

“I think we showed the attacking threats that we do have when we execute well. We saw that through Desiree Miller and Maya Stewart on the edges but for us it’s just about fixing our execution, a little bit of detail and bringing more physicality next week.”

Yapp’s side struggled to build any real momentum in the match, with their inability to rely on their set-piece hurting their chances.

Indeed, the Wallaroos won just 55 per cent of their scrums, losing four feeds along the way, as the pressure told on the home side.

Without a set-piece to rely on, the Canadians enjoyed the lion’s share of territory and front-foot ball as they made 152 carries to the Wallaroos’ 82.

Leonard’s side was also killed by the Canadians’ offloading game, with the visitors able to free their arms 14 times compared to one.

On the board in ’24 ????

Tania Naden scores our first try of the year.

???? @StanSportAU#Wallaroos #PAC4 pic.twitter.com/jTsBenPFe8

— Wallaroos (@WallaroosRugby) May 11, 2024

Nor did the home side find any ascendency through their kicking game, with Canadian playmaker Claire Gallagher getting one over Arabella McKenzie.

The lack of possession meant the Wallaroos’ lethal outside backs, including Stewart and Miller, were starved of opportunities out wide.

Asked what they need to fix up ahead of next week’s clash in Melbourne, Leonard pointed to the missing “execution” so early in their international season.

“Our basic structures, making sure that we keep ball in hand, fixing our set-piece and continuing to find the space on the edges,” she said.

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