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Seven heaven: Hale leads Kiwi Ferns to drought-breaking triumph

Titans skipper Georgia Hale led from the front for New Zealand in their drought-breaking 12-6 win over the Jillaroos, conquering a seven-year hoodoo that previously troubled the Kiwis against their Trans-Tasman counterparts.

Gold Coast outside back Jaime Chapman struck first in only the ninth minute for Australia, but the visitors got themselves back into the contest with a classy four-pointer on the stroke of half-time; which allowed New Zealand to dominate in the second 35, sealing the deal in the 62nd minute.

Hale toiled through the entire clash with a captain's knock, topping both the run metres count (157) and tackle tally (44) in what proved to be a gritty affair in Melbourne. 

"I’m just so proud of our efforts," she said post-match.

"There was a lot of desire and desperations... it wasn’t always pretty, but it was gritty and that’s an element of our game that we can proud of and we’ve been working on.

"It took a team effort today and it was a great contribution by all."

In the men's clash, the Kangaroos notched up a 36-18 win over the Kiwis without inspirational forward Tino Fa'asuamlaeaui - the enforcer given the week off alongside Payne Haas ahead of the Pacific Championships decider next Saturday.

In Papua New Guinea, the Kumuls were downed 43-18 by a gallant Fiji outfit - the Bati running in seven tries to three in their second showing of the competition.

Titans forward Jacob Alick played 31 minutes off the bench; making 15 tackles for his side; meanwhile, England wrapped up their Test series against Tonga with a 14-4 win.

Moeaki Fotuaika started from the interchange bench, playing 44 minutes with 86 metres and 18 tackles.

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.