Australia warmed up for their two-test series against New Zealand next month by completing back-to-back victories against Japan – the Wallaroos' first opposition other than New Zealand since Women's Rugby World Cup 2017.
The Wallaroos improved on their 34-5 win over Japan in Newcastle six days ago with a 46-3 victory at the North Sydney Oval on Friday in which back-row and captain Grace Hamilton was once again outstanding.
Leading from the front, Hamilton put in another player-of-the-match display that was capped by a hat-trick of tries and saw her clock an incredible 200 metres with the ball in hand.
“We said before the match that we wanted to make a statement and we did,” said Australia coach Dwayne Nestor.
“We wanted them to be ruthless in both attack and defence and they were. Throughout the week we have been working on spacing and all the work we did in training showed tonight in how comfortable the girls were playing.
“We’ll celebrate the success of this series, give the girls some time off before we come back into camp to tidy some things up ahead of our series against New Zealand.”
Leading from the front
The result did not affect the World Rugby Women's Rankings with Australia staying in seventh place on 78.68 points. Japan remain in 16th, nearly 16 points further back.
The Wallaroos struck first in the match with the boot of Lori Cramer before a hard and fast line-break from Hamilton saw the hosts establish a 10-0 lead.
Japan scored next through the boot of Minori Yamamoto, but Mahalia Murphy quickly retaliated and a successful conversion from Cramer saw the Wallaroos extend the lead 17-3 at the midpoint of the first half.
Australia continued to control possession in the latter stages of the first half with Cramer crossing for a try of her own before Murphy scored again to hand the Wallaroos a 27-3 interval lead.
After surviving Cramer’s sin-binning without conceding any points, Australia struck again in the second half when Hamilton scored twice in quick succession.
Millie Boyle added a seventh try just to close out the match 46-3.