League: Kiwi Ferns edge past Australia

The New Zealand women's rugby league team will head into Monday morning's World Cup final unbeaten in their pool games but they know winning won't be as easy as the three previous titles they have collected.

The Kiwi Ferns have dominated women's league since the World Cup was introduced in 2000, winning all three instalments commandingly, but the chasing pack have made up considerable ground and this morning they edged Australia 14-6 in their final pool game.

It was a match with little riding on it, considering both teams had already qualified for the final, and both sides made a number of changes to ensure everyone had a run in the pool matches.

Australia led 6-0 but New Zealand slowly took control through tries to Amber Hall, Honey Hireme and Nora Maaka.

"It was a really good test match,'' coach Lynley Tierney-Mani said. "Our completion rate wasn't 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.''

This morning's result comes on the back of their 88-0 thrashing of France and 34-16 defeat of England, although that score flattered them considering it was 16-16 in the second half before New Zealand ran in four late tries.

The final kicks off at Headingley, Leeds at 12.45am Monday morning (NZT).

- APNZ

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