Rugby League: Kiwis Ferns upset Australia for World Cup Nines women's crown

New Zealand have turned the tables on their Australian rivals to capture the inaugural Rugby Leauge World Cup Nines women's title in Sydney.

But the Kiwis men fell short of emulating that achievement, bowing 24-10 to the Kangaroos for the men's crown.

Twenty-four hours after being comprehensively outplayed by the home team in pool play, the Kiwi Ferns turned the tables to emerge 17-15 winners in the women's final, with the kicking of Raecene McGregor ultimately the difference.

Both teams scored three tries, including a bonus five-pointer each for touching down near the posts, but McGregor managed to convert two, while the Jillarroos kicked just one.

McGregor, who also scored a try in the final, was later named Player of the Tournament.

The Jillaroos opened the scoring with a try to Tiana Penitani in the second minute, but New Zealand responded with a five-pointer to captain Honey Hireme-Smiler that gave them some momentum.

Although Australia led 8-7 at the break, Hireme-Smiler rallied her players and they responded with a try to Jules Newman. The home side answered to retake the advantage, but Anita Maynard had the final say, with a try from a run from Apii Nicholls.

Key to the NZ success was their ability to contain dangerous Australian playmaker Ali Brigginshaw defensively. 

The Kiwis started their final without injured tryscorer Ken Maumalo, but were first on the scoreboard, when his replacement - Reimis Smith - crossed in the corner.

Aussie half Mitchell Moses answered, but New Zealand were back in front, when Isaako sprinted down the right touchline.

Moses had his second to put the Kangaroos ahead 13-10 at the break and while the Kiwis could not score again, Kyle Feldt was awarded a controversial try and Moses secured his hat-trick to seal victory for Australia.

Both the Kiwis and Kiwi Ferns will take on their trans-Tasman opponents in 13-a-side test matches in Wollongong next weekend.

Join us for live updates of the NZ v Australia rugby league tests on Friday 


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