Shanice Parker is tackled by April Ngatupuna during the Kiwi Ferns’ win over the Cook Islands. ASHLEY ALLEN/GETTY IMAGES/22110908
Cook Islands head coach Rusty Matua revealed pride is the driving factor for his team ahead of their clash with France early today at 7am. By Megan Armitage of rlwc2021.com.
two sides will be battling for their first win of the tournament following
successive defeats against New Zealand and Australia in the opening rounds.
Matua has his eyes set on more than a win, stating that his team will be
playing not just for their nation but for “mana” this time round.
said: “The goal is to get a win in the tournament and there's no doubt France
will be in exactly the same position as us.
that is going to be a cracking game to finish things off.
there’s also lots of pride to play for in that last game, we call it ‘mana’, it’s
integrity and it’s honour.
New Zealand, we needed to show guts for each other, and that rising intensity
came through better discipline and trying to have a bit of fun.
second half was some of the best prep that team could have had ahead of the
head coach Vincent Baloup has kept his focus on rest and recovery ahead of his
team’s final battle.
the next World Cup taking place on French soil, Les Chanticleers will want to
prove a point in their final game of the tournament.
with their lone World Cup victory against Tonga back in 2008, Baloup is eager
to shake off any injury worries and bow out with a final flourish in York.
said: “We've had to assess a lot. Quite a few of the girls took big hits
against Australia and that will be our first order of business.
of our girls are fully amateur so we're not used to these short recovery times
between fixtures so rest is a big focus for us.
focus ahead of the next game is recovery and then working hard. Looking at the
analysis and applying that for the Cook Islands game.
want to hold our heads high and do the jersey proud for the rest of the
in a group with the world’s top two sides, Australia and New Zealand, it was
always asking a lot for Cook Islands or France to stay in the race for the
semi-finals by the time of their final group game.
Moana have come closer to doing so, falling to a 34-4 defeat to New Zealand
after an opening loss to the Jillaroos, with France finding life tougher
against the top two, notably in a 92-0 defeat to Australia last time out.
will be the first-ever meeting between the two sides, as they both target a
first win of the tournament.
fact – This
match will pit two of the least error-strewn teams in the tournament against
one another. With 18 errors, Cook Islands have made the fewest errors of any
team, while France on 20 are third, with only Australia splitting the teams.
Islands record – The
Cook Islands have won three of their previous 11 Rugby World Cup encounters,
although in this tournament they have fallen to both Australia and New Zealand.
Their record against northern hemisphere opposition in the competition is
strong though, having drawn with Great Britain back in 2003, and beaten England
record – France
have lost six in a row in the tournament since their lone Women’s Rugby League
World Cup victory, against Tonga back in 2008. They are still searching for a
first point in this year’s tournament, three years out from hosting the next
to watch – April
Ngatupuna (Cook Islands) has made 11 offloads at the 2021 women’s Rugby League
World Cup, more than twice as many as any other player at the tournament.
Akpa (France) has made three try saves throughout the first two rounds of the
2021 women’s Rugby League World Cup, more than any other player across the