World Cup final here we come ... the Kiwi Ferns after beating Australia 14-6 in Batley on Friday ahead of Monday morning's women's Rugby League World Cup (1.45pm local time). Photo: PHOTOSPORT


The Kiwi Ferns go into Monday mornings Rugby League World Cup final undefeated after beating Australia 14-6 in Batley on Friday (NZT).


The match was a preview of the final, with both teams having already qualified.


The Australians went out to a 6-0 lead, before Amber Hall, the young Kiwi Ferns prop with the silky skills, scored. Geneva Webber converted to leave things level at half-time.


In the second half, the Kiwi girls held the Australians scoreless, as Honey Hireme who has scored seven tries so far in the tournament and Nora Maaka crossed the line. That left Kiwi Ferns coach Lynley Tierney-Mani feeling reasonably happy going into Monday mornings final.


It was a really good test match, said Tierney-Mani.


Our completion rate wasnt where we wanted it to be, but we stuck to our plan of giving every player in the squad a match in the tournament and that has given us some nice selection headaches for the final.


Hall was among a trio of Kiwi rookies putting their hand up today.


Amber has become a crowd favourite at the tournament, says Tierney-Mani.


People are turning up just to watch her play. And Kahurangi Peters and Charlotte Scanlon are looking like seasoned veterans, despite this being just their first campaign with the Kiwi Ferns."


Sarina Fiso was one of the established players to shine in the Kiwi backline.


The Australians play a quick game, she said.


But I think we matched them for speed and we had the edge for physicality. Our forwards won the game today, with players like Charlotte and Kahurangi getting through a lot of work.


The halves were another area where the Kiwi girls did well through Rona Peters, who is Kahurangis big sister, and Maaka.


Rona has been reading things so well defensively, says Fiso, and Nora was exceptional today. But she had big shoes to fill.


Those shoes belonged to Laura Mariu, the three-time World Cup winner who was ruled out of the tournament after the game against England. She watched today with her arm in a cast.


The Kiwi Ferns have a couple of days to regroup now before their shot at a fourth straight World Cup final win. That match against the Australian Jillaroos kicks-off at 12.45am Monday (NZ-time).


Kiwi Ferns 14 (Amber Hall, Honey Hireme, Nora Maaka tries; Geneva Webber conversion).

Auistralia 6.

Halftime: 6-6.


Kiwi Ferns: 1. Tasha Tapu, 2. Geneva Webber, 3. Honey Hireme (Capt), 4. Sarina Fiso, 5. Chanelle Wright, 6. Nora Maaka, 7. Rona Peters, 8. Annabelle Hohepa, 9. Lisa Campbell, 10. Maryanne Hemara, 11. Kathleen Keremete, 12. Charlotte Scanlon, 13. Kahurangi Peters, 14. Simone Panapa, 15. Amber Hall, 16. Aimee Gilbert, 17. Kelly Maipi, 18. Akenese Pereira.