STEPHANIE Hancock, Jo Barrett and Heather Ballinger have played in the first Australian Jillaroos team to win a World Cup in women's rugby league.
The Australians inflicted the first defeat on New Zealand in World Cup history with a 22-12 victory at Headingley in England early Monday (AEST).
Hancock, who is originally from Killarney, started at prop (No. 8) for Australia, former Warwick student Jo Barrett at inside centre (No.4) and former Scots PGC boarder Heather Ballinger came off the bench in the forwards.
Ballinger scored one of the four Australian tries in the final.
Seven minutes from fulltime, a comment on the Jillaroos Facebook site stated "and a great run by Steph Hancock to take the team forward - Rohan would be proud. Under 7 minutes remaining."
Soon after, the Jillaroos kicked a penalty to increase their lead to 22-12.
Rohan Hancock played in the first State of Origin game in 1980 and was a Kangaroo tourist in 1982.
He is in England for the cup and has offered plenty of encouragement to the girls on tour and played a virtual mentor role.
The cup final victory was an outstanding effort as the Australians went down to New Zealand 14-6 in the final round game last Friday (AEST). The Jillaroos rested Hancock and Barrett for the game as both sides planned ahead for the final rather than a round game which had no bearing on spots in the final.
The veteran of the Jillaroos team at age 41, halfback Karyn Murphy received the players' player award.
The team was coached by Broncos development manager Paul Dyer who is a regular in Warwick for Anglo Australian Broncos Cup finals for year 8-10 students.
The coaching staff also included former international winger Michael Hancock who started his career in senior footy with the Stanthorpe Gremlins.
The victory by the Jillaroos trio comes on top of the victory for former Warwick Cowboys forward Adam Fisher overnight Saturday (AEST) in the Armed Forces World Cup final in England on a weekend when a lot of Australian fans were disappointed when our cricketers missed out by 14 runs on winning the First Test in the Ashes.
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