Jillaroos start strong in World Cup Nines

Australia's Jillaroos started the World Cup Nines in Sydney strongly to be on track for the final.
Australia's Jillaroos started the World Cup Nines in Sydney strongly to be on track for the final.

The Jillaroos showed why they are the favourites to take out the women's World Cup Nines after opening their campaign with an emphatic win over New Zealand.

Skipper Ali Brigginshaw was instrumental in the 22-8 victory with three try assists in the first half alone at Bankwest Stadium on Friday night.

A fortnight after leading Brisbane to back-to-back premierships, Brigginshaw capped off a near flawless performance with a brilliant individual 'bonus' try.

"It's just recognising a lazy defender, that's what nines is," Brigginshaw shrugged.

"In nines you've got to back your ability."

Tiana Penitani, Corban McGregor, and Keeley Davis also crossed, with the latter captivating the partisan crowd with her 70-metre effort.

The Kiwi Ferns added some respectability to the scoreline with the final two tries.

"The key point is to start well. The girls had lots of energy and that kept the Kiwis at bay really," Brigginshaw said.

"They build on momentum and I thought we stopped that early.

"We're still a bit clunky, but we've got a couple more games to go."

The resounding victory leaves the host nation needing one more win to make the final.

England proved they will be a force to be reckoned with after smashing Papua New Guinea 25-4 in the other women's encounter.

The Lionesses burst out of the blocks with the game's opening two tries, before the Orchids crossed just before halftime.

However, England showed their class with three unanswered tries in the second spell.

Tara-Jane Stanley was the best of the English contingent, breaking five tackles and setting up two tries in the comprehensive win.

New Zealand will look to keep their hopes of advancing to the final alive when they open day two against PNG.

Australia then face England and PNG before the Kiwi Ferns meet the England in a game that could decide who faces the Jillaroos in the final.

Australian Associated Press