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Wallaroos winger reflects on ‘unbelievable’ record-equalling 4 try haul

By Finn Morton
Desiree Miller of the Wallaroos scores a try during the women's International Test match between Australia Wallaroos and Fiji at Allianz Stadium on July 06, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Winger Desiree Miller ran into the history books on Saturday by joining an exclusive try scoring club that now only has two members. Miller became just the second Wallaroo to score four tries in one Test, which has only been done once before by Ruan Sims.

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Sims became the first Australian woman to achieve that try-scoring feat back in 2006 against South Africa, and the record has remained untouched for almost 20 years. But the dual international was almost dethroned last weekend.

The Wallaroos had their backs up against the ropes about 13 minutes into their clash with Fijiana at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium. Australia had dominated possession but Fiji struck within 30 seconds of their first real chance in their opponent’s half.

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When the Aussies needed a hero, Miller stood up and took on the responsibility. The No. 11,  who stands at about 167cm tall or just a bit under 5”5, quickly scored two tries by dancing around defenders with quick feet and sheer pace.

Miller completed a first-half hat-trick with another effort about 10 minutes before the half-time break. The Aussie benefited from some skilful play and quick hands early in the second term to equal Sims’ record of four tries in one Test.

“I got my first one two games ago so to come away with four now is just unbelievable and I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Miller told a reporter from each of RugbyPass, Rugby.com.au and the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Couldn’t get that fifth one which is fine because I thought we all played well and we ended up finishing on that (with) more tries so perfect finish I guess.

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“I had no idea,” she added, when asked about Sims’ record.

“I got to the end of the game and everyone was coming up like, ‘One more and you would’ve broken the record!’

“You just don’t even think about it. In the game you’re just thinking about your next move and what you can do for the team… just great I could ever match that.”

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Thousands at the popular Sydney sports venue oohed and aahed for the final 20 or so minutes of the match as Miller came close to potentially adding a fifth. There was one noticeable, lone-range break down the left edge but it didn’t end in points.

While the 22-year-old wasn’t able to break the record, it doesn’t take away from what she achieved. Miller only picked up the sport during quarantine and has clearly thrived in a team that continues to build towards a brighter tomorrow.

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“I guess it’s really hard when you’re on the go and you’re trying to get that next thing, your next goal,” Miller reflected.

“I have recently taken a step back and realised how far I’ve come. It’s almost emotional seeing the hard work I’ve put in and the people have supported me and helped me get to where I am.

“It’s amazing. Take a step back to appreciate it all but it also gives me that motivation to keep moving forward and creating new goals and reaching them.”

On the back of Miller’s efforts, the Wallaroos notched up their first win of the yar by beating Fijiana 64-5. It was a memorable night as the Aussies did the double with the Wallabies also getting a heavily sought-after win over Wales as part of the double header.

For the women in gold, it’s their first win under coach Jo Yapp. There were some lessons to be learnt during an educational run in World Rugby’s Pacific Four Series but the Wallaroos showed real character to bounce back in that manner.

“That was one big thing we’ve been focusing for the last 10 days, energy and getting around each other and appreciating the little one percenters.

“I guess that definitely helps with our momentum and energy and staying animated with each other… that is something that Jo has been trying to build and you can see we’re gelling, getting more continuity and I feel like that is a good build up for the next 15 months with that World Cup at the end of it.

“I guess we just build from here,” she added, when asked about this weekend’s clash with New Zealand in Brisbane.

“Obviously, New Zealand play a different game and (are) really tough; always put out a physical, fast moving game.

“I think if we take our confidence and our strengths from this game and work o those little 1 per cent efforts that need improvement, we’ll put up a good stint against New Zealand and hopefully we can hold them out.”

All Black second row Brodie Retallick joins Jim Hamilton for the latest episode of Walk the Talk, touching on life in Japan, RWC 2023 and the future of All Black rugby. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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Wonton 3 hours ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

One game against Fiji is not enough to show that a player is ready to play the likes of South Africa. Spreading the ball wide too much increases the risk of turnovers and we turned the ball over 20 times against Fiji which is a lot more than what we did in the two England tests. We actually turned the ball over the same amount of times (20) against England in the 2019 semi final which we lost. Fiji didn’t make us pay for those turnovers but other teams will. In the 2nd test against England this year we had 100% success rate on attacking rucks. That’s the first time the AB’s have achieved this since the 2019 opening game of the RWC against South Africa. South Africa won last years RWC and Jesse Kriel did not pass once. The days of the Conrad Smith type centre might be over. Also Conrad Smith debuted in 2004 but he did not become an incumbent until Nonu did also in 2008. As for Rieko Ioane he and Jordie Barrett put in some very strong midfield hits in the 2nd test forcing turnovers several times. Rieko Ioane hasn’t played wing in years. If Proctor is moved to 13 then the best I think Ioane can hope for is an impact player off the bench. He does not have the aerial game of Caleb Clarke or the workrate of Tele’a for 11 and going to be selected over Jordan at 14. However its much too early to replace Rieko with Proctor. Rieko was excellent in the knock out rounds of the RWC. All Proctor has to show on his test CV is a good game against Fiji.

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Nick 4 hours ago
How 'gazelle' Nick Frost thawed the hearts of Wallaby fans at Suncorp

Its almost like you read my comment on the other site on sunday morning Nick - you flagged all the same examples! 😝 Frost was motm for mine. That eg in the 56th minute in particular impressed me, nothing but sheer effort and a dupont/smith-like tracking line behind the D. Surely an effort like that from frost marries perfectly with that quote from schmidt at the start of the year about effort and work rate being 70-80% and talent is just the icing on top… What it also showed though was the players not making that effort, in that example he goes past both valetini and ikitau, and in the eg that finished with valetini scoring hunter paisami barely breaks a canter to support the break. And then there was the chase from wright and lancaster for the 2nd georgian try! One blemish - at kickoff I saw frost miss or get bumped off a few tackles and I felt like I saw what has been holding his selection back. I think because he is so big and is trying to get low to tackle, he seems to dip his head and ends up losing his balance or ability to adjust and ends up missing or making a soft hit. I think in the first 2 minutes he misses or makes 2-3 soft tackles, but you could clearly see the work rate and desire! He (the pod) also missed a kick restart or two? Also very happy to see harry wilson back in the fold. What impressed me from him wasn’t all the usual stuff he is known for, but all the other bits that usually let him down. He looked surprisingly good in the air at lineout time, physical at the breakdown, and good in the maul peeling off 3 georgians for one of the maul tries. Id have frost, skelton, wright as my 4-6 with LSL and wilson on the bench. i’m once again unconvinced by tom wirght - he was very good game 1, but game 2-3 he was back to more rocks than diamonds. There is no real other player to usurp him really so he stays in the team for now but I think Joe should put kellaway wherever he serves the team best and wright can be moved around him. Did donno do enough to overtake noah? My gut says no. They clearly had a plan to attack more so he looked better in that regard because he just had more opportunity, but they looked better off tate (who had a v good game also) then they did off donno.

15 Go to comments
FEATURE
FEATURE How 'gazelle' Nick Frost thawed the hearts of Wallaby fans at Suncorp How 'gazelle' Nick Frost thawed the hearts of Wallaby fans at Suncorp
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