Australian Jillaroos v New Zealand Ferns: Aussies to come out hard in Test

Hilda Peters on the charge for the Kiwi Ferns against the Jillaroos during the 2015 NRL Auckland Nines. Photo / Getty Images
Hilda Peters on the charge for the Kiwi Ferns against the Jillaroos during the 2015 NRL Auckland Nines. Photo / Getty Images

WOMEN'S rugby league is often played at a fast pace, but the Jillaroos have been working hard during their week-long camp to come out with a more aggressive style against the Kiwis.

Fullback Sam Bremner says coach Steve Folkes, who has played and coached at first grade level, has helped the women pick up some of the differences in the men's and women's game and to make their approach more aggressive.

"He (Folkes) definitely teaches us all the small things that sometimes as women we overlook, little things such as aggression in a tackle, which sometimes doesn't come naturally." Bremner said.

"As women, both Ferns and Jillaroos, we play a quick brand of rugby league - we get tackled, we jump back up, whereas you see the men sort of working each other on the ground.

"We've been training with that sort of stuff so much the past week that hopefully it's just natural on Friday."

The Jillaroos are confident they can retain the Women's Trans-Tasman Test Match title they won last year in Brisbane, which will also put behind them the loss to the Ferns at this year's Auckland Nines.

Not that they've let that defeat bother them too much, with the 13-a-side honours far more important to them.

"The Nines is a totally different concept," Folkes said.

"I guess the fact that we hold the mid-year trophy, we won the Test last year in Brisbane, so from a 13-person game we're on top and trying to defend that.

"The Nines is hit-and-miss and we got beaten two games to one; we played poorly in the second game and the scores were really close in all three so it wasn't too disappointing."

Five debutants have been called into the Australia side for Friday night's Test (Corban McGregor, Allana Ferguson, Libby Cook-Black, Kody House and 18th player Caitlyn Moran), which is reward for strong performances at the All Stars and a look to the World Cup next year.

Folkes is confident if his side can complete well and use their speed and mobility, they'll be able to get over the top of the bigger Ferns side.

"We picked a few younger girls who were impressive in the All Stars game, a few of the indigenous girls, we have three or four of them that we hadn't seen before but they impressed that night, and I guess we're looking towards the world cup next year so wanted to blood a few younger girls," he said.

"(To win) we have to make sure that we really complete at a high level, run them around, they have a lot of big girls.

"We're hoping if we control the ball well enough and run them around long enough they might tire a bit before we do.

"We've trained really well this week we just need to keep going forward and maintain possession and I think there's enough football in our side to get us across the line if we do that."

- news.com.au

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