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Moana bracing for tough opener against reigning champs

Tuesday 1 November 2022 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in League, Sports

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Moana bracing for tough opener against reigning champs
Cook Islands Moana at the Women’s Rugby League World Cup in UK. CIRL/22103112

Cook Islands Moana are bracing for a tough Women’s Rugby League World Cup opener against reigning champions Australia tomorrow at 9.30am.

The Jillaroos defeated the Moana 58-4 in their opening game in Pool A five years ago. The two teams will meet again in the second Group B clash tomorrow at York Community Stadium.

For the Moana, 21-year-old Mackenzie Wiki will feature and looking on proudly will be her father Ruben who many will know as the New Zealand men’s legend.

Also included is half-back Chantay Kiria-Ratu who, even at the tender age of 18, is looking to make a big impact on the biggest stage.

Tarryn Aiken, captain Ali Brigginshaw and Isabelle Kelly are all named in Australia’s squad, with 10 potential debutants including Aiken, Shannon Mato and Lauren Brown.

There’s a lot of buzz around Aiken who is an up-and-coming star in the NRLW with Brisbane Broncos, while half-back partner Brigginshaw and flying centre Kelly both scored tries against Cook Islands in 2017.

  • RLWC21

Cook Islands:

6 Kimiora Breayley-Nati, 20 Mireka Dean, 9 Tetuanui Dean, 7 Chantay Kiria-Ratu, 17 Lavinia Kitai, 2 Beniamina Koitau, 23 Terehia Matua, 15 Toka Natua, 10 April Ngatupuna, 4 Daimzel Rongokea, 21 Anekka Stephens, 5 Kiana Takairangi, 8 Karol-Ann Tanevesi, 19 Tehinnah-Leal Tatuava, 12 Alekermay Tuaana, 18 Charlize Tumu-Makara, 14 Jazmon Tupou-Witchman, 1 Mackenzie Wiki

Australia:

12 Tarryn Aiken, 1 Kezie Apps, 13 Shaylee Bent, 2 Samantha Bremner, 3 Ali Brigginshaw, 14 Lauren Brown, 16 Kennedy Cherrington, 17 Shenae Ciesiolka, 18 Yasmin Clydsdale, 19 Taliah Fuimaono, 20 Caitlan Johnston, 5 Isabelle Kelly, 22 Olivia Kernick, 23 Shannon Mato, 24 Evania Pelite, 10 Julia Robinson, 4 Simaima Taufa, 6 Emma Tonegato, 9 Holli Wheeler