Australia thrash New Zealand to retain women's League World Cup title

Australia retained the women's Rugby League World Cup title with a dominant 54-4 victory over New Zealand at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The Kiwi Ferns, who lost to the Jillaroos 10-8 in the group stage but conquered England in the semi-finals, were on the back foot from the off at Manchester United's ground.

Tries in the opening 15 minutes for Jessica Sergis and Isabelle Kelly put Australia firmly in control of their trans-Tasman rivals. Julia Robinson and Kelly, with her second, extended the lead to 20-0 at half-time.

Further tries came in quick succession from Emma Tonegato, Sergis and Tarryn Aiken.

The two previous finals between the two sides, in 2017 and 2013 -- both of which were won by Australia, were close affairs with only 10 and seven points separating them respectively.

Madison Bartlett eventually got the Black Ferns on the scoreboard with a try in the corner in the 65th minute.

But it was all too little, too late, as the Australians added three more tries through Kennedy Cherrington (2) and Evania Pelite.

Player-of-the-match Ali Brigginshaw and Lauren Brown added seven conversions between them to cap what proved to be a long afternoon under the cosh for the Kiwi Ferns.

lp/bsp