We’ve done it – Wales qualify for the Women’s World Cup Finals

Wales Women have qualified for the Rugby League World Cup Finals at the first time of asking after beating the Netherlands 48-6 in Purmerend.

They join the Wales Wheelchair side in the 2026 series of events, which will be held in the southern hemisphere.

Wales needed to avoid a 12-point defeat to win the group and qualify but they did more than that as they got the victory, scoring 11 tries against a determined Dutch outfit.

It took just 50 seconds for Wales to take the lead. Leanne Burnell finished off a good first set. Shaunni Davies couldn’t convert.

Georgia Taylor nearly increased Wales’ lead on eight minutes but was judged to have dropped the ball as she went for the line.

Wales gave away a penalty then a scrum which gave Netherlands field positions. A great run from Hannah Van Beukering nearly led to a try, Hiske Blom was short then Amy Price intercepted from the next play to relieve the pressure.

The home side continued to pressure. Sylvie Moelee made a clean break, only for Burnell to stop her in her tracks and cause her to mishandle.

And when Wales went back onto the attack again, they scored. Brittony Price receiving to ground in the corner. Davies couldn’t convert and whilst Wales were only 8-0 up, in regards to World Cup qualification, it was like being 19-0 to the good.

Soon after that, it was 12-0. Seren Gough-Walters, in her first Wales game for two years due to injury, finishing off another nice move. Kathryn Salter took over the kicking duties but she also couldn’t land the conversion.

Gough-Walters soon added Wales’ fourth try and the Dragons were now cruising. Salter landed the kick and Wales were 18-0 up at half-time.

Just a dropped ball prevented Wales from making it 22 within two minutes of the second half starting, but as soon as Wales regained the ball, those points were point on the board, Salter diving from close range with Davies unable to convert.

Price looked for her second try after Salter set her up, but the Dutch weren’t giving in that easily and she was pulled into touch. But the Welsh weren’t to be denied their sixth try of the game. Agnes Wood broke through for her first try for Wales which Salter improved.

There was nearly a seventh straight away. Meg Whittaker was held up over the line as she looked for a score on her first international appearance.

The seventh try arrived on 56 minutes when Gough-Walters completed her hat-trick. Salter couldn’t convert but Wales were 32-0 up.

Credit to the Dutch in that they didn’t give up. Sylvie Moelee scored a great individual try to give the home fans something to shout about. Rixt Aerts converted.

But that was just respite. Burnell scored under the sticks for her second try, converting it herself, then Hannah Jones quickly followed up with Wales’ ninth try that went unconverted.

And it was left for skipper Bethan Dainton to cement them in by running in the final try of the game with Burnell’s conversion this final touch of the match.