A thrilling game in the Pacific Championships clash in Melbourne saw the New Zealand Kiwi Ferns finally break the Jillaroos’ seven-year winning streak. The final score was 12-6 in favor of the Kiwi Ferns, marking a historic win.
This victory is particularly significant as the Jillaroos, the Australian women’s rugby league team, had maintained an unbeaten streak against New Zealand for seven years. Their last defeat to the Kiwi Ferns was in 2016.
In a closely contested match, rookie Kiwi winger Leianne Tufuga made a crucial contribution by scoring her first international try just seven minutes before the game’s end. This try broke a 6-6 tie and secured the Kiwi Ferns’ victory.
Although the Kiwi Ferns had lost their first Pacific Championships match to the Jillaroos 16-10 in Townsville, they remained competitive throughout the tournament.
The final match was a seesaw battle, with Australia initially taking the lead thanks to winger Jaime Chapman’s try. However, the Kiwi Ferns answered back, and the game remained tied at 6-6 by halftime.
The match ended with a unique two-win situation in the Pacific Championships. Since there was no final or a third test scheduled, both teams shared the honors, having won one match each.
The game was intense, and several players were put on report, reflecting the competitive spirit of the teams. Jess Sergis, Kezie Apps, and Olivia Kernick from the Jillaroos all received reports during the match.
This victory is a significant achievement for the Kiwi Ferns, marking the end of a long-running Australian winning streak and underscoring the competitiveness of women’s rugby league in the Pacific region.