Desiree Miller bags four to add her name to the history books as Wallaroos thump Fijiana in Sydney

Mon, Jul 8, 2024, 2:41 AM
Waratahs Media
by Waratahs Media
Desiree Miller was on fire for the Wallaroos.
Desiree Miller was on fire for the Wallaroos.

Desiree Miller equalled an 18-year record on Saturday night, crossing for four tries as the Wallaroos thumped Fijiana 64-5 at Allianz Stadium.

It was a repeat of the Super Rugby Final as Miller proved unstoppable in space, scoring a hat-trick in just over half an hour before getting the fourth after the break in a stunning display of explosiveness and finishing.

Miller becomes just the second Wallaroo to score four tries in a game and the first since Ruan Sims in 2006 against South Africa as Jo Yapp tasted her first win in charge.

“The effort that the girls have put in since we started back in January, we’ve been building and Pac Four we didn’t get that time together but you can see the results now,” Yapp said.

“It’s an accumulation of all the hard work that everyone’s put in at this point.

“There’s still so much growth still out there but really pleased for the girls that they got that win tonight in the way that they did.”

The Wallaroos looked comfortable throughout the night and took their opportunities but Fijiana struck first in the 12th minute when a short side move found Adita Militia unmarked and into space for the opening try.

This only woke the Australians up as they powered their way to a commanding lead thanks to three tries in seven minutes. Miller struck twice during this period as the Wallaroos pieced apart the Fijian defence.

The winger crossed in the 14th minute when an overthrown lineout presented the perfect chance for a counter-attack before backrower Atasi Lafai showed the playmaking ability to beat her defender and offload for Miller to set up her second.

Wallaroos Player of the Year Eva Karpani extended the lead at the back of the rolling maul in her 25th Test, with Fiji’s horrid ten minutes getting worse when Bitila Tawake was yellow-carded for a professional foul.

Miller completed the hat-trick off a trick lineout play that saw the 22-year-old peel around the maul and into space, beating the cover defence to dive over.

Fijiana started the half down to 14 again when Sulita Waisega committed a professional foul right on their line.

It presented the chance for Miller to make it four as simple catch and pass put her over again.

Siokapesi Palu and Cecilia Smith added to the onslaught as they added two tries right before the hour break. Yapp blooded four debutants throughout the evening with Biola Dawa, Allana Sikimeti, Natalie Wright and Lydia Kavoa impressive on debut.

Smith set up Trilleen Pomare to bring up the half century, with Tiarna Molloy and Bridie O’Gorman getting their ninth and tenth try of the game to seal the win.

WALLAROOS 64 Tries: Miller 4, Karpani, Smith, O'Gorman, Molloy, Palu, Pomare. Cons: McKenzie 4, Cramer 2 defeated FIJIANA 5 Try: Militia

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