You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Follow the Festival of World Cups on Twitter

Australian Jillaroos update: By NRL Media

THE Jillaroos have booked their place in the Womens World Cup final following two strong performances in their opening matches.

The Australian team were tested in their 14-6 first round win over hosts England with the match being a close-run race until the final stages.

Samantha Hammond opened the scoring after beating two defenders and crashing over the try line.

The resulting conversion was successfully taken by Ali Brigginshaw to give the Jillaroos a 6-0 lead over the hosts which they took into halftime.

The second half started in the same fashion as the first with hard tackling aplenty and little to separate the sides - although neither team looked like scoring.

Brigginshaw of Australia then slotted home the penalty for a big two points to make it 8-0.

The Jillaroos continued to attack and shortly after Samantha Hammond crashed over the line. Brigginshaw duly converted to make it 14-0.

Englands star-player Anfield managed to grab a consolation score for the hosts after an exhilarating break, but the comeback was too little too late with an eight point deficit still to overcome.

THEIR follow-up match against France saw the team post an impressive 72-0 victory.

The Jillaroos raced in 14 tries fullback Hammond scored five in her just her second Test in a dominant final hit-out before their last group match against New Zealand on Thursday.

Winger Emma Tonegato also crossed for a hat-trick of tries in an unforgettable debut for the Jillaroos, while Queenslanders prop Stephanie Hancock and centre Jenni Sue-Hoepper each crossed twice as the Jillaroos led 28-0 at halftime.

The team will play their final group match against New Zealand will be an exciting preview of the World Cup Final, with the Jillaroos and Kiwi Ferns guaranteed a berth in Sundays grand final regardless of the result in the pool match.

NRL Chief Executive Dave Smith, who was on the sidelines to support the Jillaroos, paid tribute to the skill level shown by all teams.

This has been a great day for women's rugby league, Smith said.

I am very proud of the Jillaroos, but I also want to congratulate every team for the way the games were played.

"The game was tough with plenty of hard contests but the ability and talent of our players was of the highest order.

You can watch highlights from the Australia v England here:

Australian Students: by Adam Etherington + Matthew Shaw (FOWC website)

AUSTRALIA defeated Scotland 96-0 in the Student World Cup at the Provident Stadium in their first match of the tournament last Thursday night.

Winger Josh Damen (from the Souths Logan Magpies) scored five tries for the Kangaroos as Scotland struggled to cope with the Australians power and intelligence all game.

Kristian Wanka was the first to bundle over the line after just three minutes, following a spill by Louis Senter from kick-off.

Cameron Bruest responded by kicking his first of 14 conversions missing only three all night.

Further tries for Jamie Anderson, Gary Warburton and Michael Gayan followed, along with Redcliffes imposing Isaak Ah Mau, who steamrolled his way through the defence time and time again, before getting on the scoreboard himself.

Man of the match Damen crossed the whitewash five minutes before the break for his first, before quickly adding his second with a superb diving effort in the corner.

Despite watching his side score 17 tries in the win, Australian coach Grant Stephenson was more pleased with his teams defensive effort.

THE Australian team followed up their strong performance with a convincing 34-16 victory over fierce rivals New Zealand in their next match.

While it was overshadowed by the broken leg to Kangaroo forward Josh McLean; the seven-try performance sealed victory for the 2008 World Cup winners.

The pre-match haka set the scene for the contest, with the Australians getting in the face of their New Zealand counterparts.

What followed was a bruising opening with both sides determined to outdo the other, with numerous big hits early on.

The Kangaroos took the lead in the 13th minute when Kristian Wanka crashed over the line following good work from Breust, who added the extras.

Australia coach Stephenson paid testament to his sides defensive performance however revealed his disappointment for McLean.

It was a bit scrappy at times but I though defensively we were very good and it is pleasing that they went an hour without a try," he said.

He just crashed into somebody and suffered the injury. Were very disappointed for Josh and our thoughts are with him.

Read the full match reports for all games including Wheelchair, Armed Forces and Police tournaments at the Festival of World Cups website:

All photos courtesy