Surging Wallaroos fall short against USA

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A second-half surge by the Wallaroos has fallen just short of a historic result as they lost 16-14 to the United States in their Pacific Four rugby union clash in Auckland.

Preparing for the Women's Rugby World Cup later this year, the Australians went close to a first win over the US in two decades on Sunday as Georgie Friedrichs and Ashley Marsters scored tries to get their team within striking distance late.

However, the Eagles clung on, led by powerhouse prop Hope Rogers, who was named player of the match.

Rogers scored the first half's only try in windy conditions at Auckland's Trusts Arena as the Americans ran into some dogged Wallaroos defence with Grace Hamilton particularly impressive.

The Americans had to rely on the boot for the rest of their 13-0 halftime lead.

Australia were transformed by their second-half substitutes, including Arabella McKenzie who put Friedrichs across.

Lori Cramer converted from the sideline to make it 16-7 and put the Wallaroos back in the match.

Then Marsters went over from the back of a maul in the 69th minute, and another fine Cramer conversion set the stage for an improbable Australian victory.

However, a late lineout blunder robbed them of the chance to make one final attempt, leaving Australia winless in the Pacific Four series.

Still, coach Jay Tregonning will see plenty to build on ahead of October's World Cup, also in New Zealand.

The Wallaroos round off their campaign on Saturday against Canada in Whangarei.

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