Jess Sergis crossed for four tries and Jaime Chapman scored a hat-trick on debut as the Jillaroos outclassed France 92-0 in York on Monday morning (AEDT).
The Jillaroos' win was the biggest in their history, eclipsing the 88-0 victory over Canada at the 2017 World Cup.
After a strong defensive set to start the game the Jillaroos opened their account in the third minute when Shenae Ciesiolka crossed wide out and Lauren Brown converted for a 6-0 lead.
Chapman grabbed her first try in the sixth minute courtesy of a nice short ball from Tarryn Aiken before Sergis crossed for her second Test try as the Jillaroos skipped to an 18-0 lead after 10 minutes.
Chapman exploded into space to grab her double in the 12th minute before a clever infield kick by Ciesiolka was collected by Aiken for the Jillaroos' fifth.
With Aiken running the show in style the tries continued to flow, with Sergis grabbing her second and fullback Emma Tonegato crossing in the 21st minute as France struggled to stem the tide.
Skipper Tallisha Harden and flyer Evania Pelite added their names to the scoresheet before Sergis took the final pass from Julia Robinson to complete a first-half trifecta as the Jillaroos made it 58-0 at the break.
Just two minutes into the second half the Jillaroos had their 11th try when a Taliah Fuimaono kick was spilled by France and Sergis pounced to grab her fourth of the game.
Sergis then turned provider when she delivered the final pass for Robinson to score in the right corner in the 46th minute before a dropped ball by Pelite gave France a rare shot inside Australian territory but Anais Fourcroy spilled the ball on the first tackle.
A show-and-go from Aiken bamboozled the France defence and she put Olivia Kernick into a hole to chalk up another try assist as the score hit 74-0.
Chapman completed her hat-trick in the 63rd minute off another quality pass from Aiken and Robinson crossed for her second four minutes later as the Jillaroos closed in on a century.
The French resistance was much stronger in the second half but mistakes at their own end hurt them, opening the door for Robinson to make it a hat-trick with six minutes to play.
The final try of the night went to Pelite, who had been held up a couple of times over the line but wasn't to be denied in the closing minute.
The Jillaroos now set their sights on a showdown with arch-rivals New Zealand, who were made to work much harder in their 34-4 win over Cook Islands earlier in the night.
Match: Australia v France
Round 2 -
Venue: LNER Community Stadium, York
- Tallisha Harden captained the Jillaroos with co-captains Sam Bremner, Ali Brigginshaw and Kezie Apps rested.
- Shaylee Bent, Jaime Chapman and Keilee Joseph made their Test debuts for the Jillaroos.
- France centre Laureane Biville left the field in the 16th minute for a HIA which she passed.
- Jess Sergis and Jaime Chapman had seven tries and five try assists between them for Australia.
- The Jillaroos had 17 line breaks compared to none for France and 44 tackle breaks to one.
- Elodie Pacull came off the bench for France in the 28th minute but lasted just two minutes before she had to come off for a HIA.
- France interchange forward Tallis Kuresa suffered a suspected broken nose in the first half and was taken from the field for a HIA. She was cleared to go back on but was bent back awkwardly in a tackle in the 59th minute and was helped off with an ankle injury.
- France were forced to make 214 more tackles than the Jillaroos (313 to 99).
- Prop Cyndia Mansard was one of France's best, getting through a mountain of work in defence with 29 tackles while Elisa Akpa made 38 tackles and Jeanne Bernard 35.
- Tarryn Aiken's dominant display included four try assists, four line break assists, 177 run metres and a try.
Aiken named player of the match
Play of the Game
Jess Sergis showed great hands to scoop up a loose ball and cross for her fourth try of the night just after half-time. Five-eighth Taliah Fuimaono put a neat chip kick over the top and the ball was spilled by Elisa Akpa, giving Sergis the opportunity to swoop. Given the slippery conditions, the pick up by Sergis was a beauty, and she continued a golden night with a quality four-pointer.
What They Said
"That was an awesome experience. We just wanted to stay composed and stick to our structures and get to our points and play some footy and we did that and our middles were really good, they took us forward the whole game and we got to play footy off the back of it. We don't fear anyone. We are ready for the Kiwi Ferns. We've been waiting for it." - Jillaroos halfback and player of the match Tarryn Aiken
"There was a couple of opportunities we missed, a couple of dropped balls. The girls have got really high standards, both on and off the field, and as I said at half-time I thought it was a really selfless display. You can get 'white line fever' in a game like that but we still moved the ball and we did what we set out to achieve." - Jillaroos coach Brad Donald
"That was amazing, it was unreal. Something I've been looking forward to for a very long time so I was very nervous but once I got out there I felt comfortable and the girls made it very easy for me. I was crying when we were singing the anthem, a very emotional game for me... very excited." - Jillaroos debutante Jaime Chapman
Australia and France round out their pool matches as part of a double-header in York on Friday.
The Jillaroos have a blockbuster clash against Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in the second match after France play Cook Islands in the earlier game.