Australian papers turn the screw ahead of England’s World Cup semi-final clash with the Matildas… claiming the hosts will ‘tame the Lionesses’

‘Move over Lionesses!’: Australia’s partisan papers re-name themselves after their World Cup heroes, hail their ‘dream team’ – and tell England ‘this is bigger than the Ashes’ ahead of today’s semi-final showdown

The Australian newspapers have been ramping up the pressure and boasting of their team’s excellence ahead of England’s clash with the Matildas in Sydney – claiming they are ‘ready to tame the Lionesses’. 

Sarina Wiegman’s side face off against the hosts in front of around 80,000 fans later today in what has been dubbed ‘The Smashes’ – a continuation of this summer’s epic sporting bout between the two nations after the Ashes and netball World Cup final. 

It’s safe to say the publications Down Under have taken a rather boisterous approach to turning the screw, perhaps no surprise after the Australian Daily Telegraph audaciously flew a helicopter to film England’s final training session before the clash. 

‘Matildas poised to put Old Enemy to the sword’, claimed the same newspaper this morning as they dubbed it ‘The Smashes’. 

‘England v Australia – it’s one of sport’s great rivalries, but we’ve never had a contest like this. With a spot in the World Cup final on the line, Sam Kerr’s Matildas are ready to tame the Lionesses in Sydney tonight,’ they added. 

Meanwhile, The Advertiser led their page with: ‘Move over Lionesses, the Matildas are the pride of Australia.’ 

The Australian Daily Telegraph claimed the hosts will put the Lionesses ‘to the sword’ 

The Advertiser commanded Sarina Wiegman's side to 'move over' for the 'pride of Austrlia'

The Advertiser commanded Sarina Wiegman’s side to ‘move over’ for the ‘pride of Austrlia’ 

Both sides have relied on a mix of brilliant football and penalty shootout heroics to get to this stage.

Australia edged past France 7-6 in a dramatic penalty kick finale to their quarter-final while England beat Nigeria 4-2 in a nerve-wracking penalty shootout. 

The Herald Sun recognised just how immense the occasion is, saying: ‘A proud nation will cheer as one when the mighty Matildas aim to tame our oldest sporting rival, England, in a World Cup clash bigger than the Ashes’. 

And The Courier-Mail also played on this being a fresh rewrite of sporting history, writing: ‘Old enemies, new rivalry: no escaping history in World Cup semi-final’.

England will be hoping to reverse the trend of disappointment the nation has experienced against Australia this summer. 

The tourists retained the men’s Ashes while the series was drawn, also winning the only Test match in the women’s Ashes. 

In the netball, the Aussies triumphed 61-45 against an England side in their first-ever final, adding a 12th World Cup victory to their heaving trophy cabinet in the sport. 

For today, the Australian newspapers also renamed their back pages to get in the spirit. 

The Daily Telegraph called themselves the Daily Tillygraph, The Advertiser dubbed themselves The AdvertisKerr, The Herald Sun went with Herald Sam, and The Courier-Mail went with Kerr-ier Mail – lots of Sam Kerr puns, to summarise.  

The Herald Sun outlined the magnitude of the occasion, calling it 'bigger than the Ashes'

The Herald Sun outlined the magnitude of the occasion, calling it ‘bigger than the Ashes’

The Courier-Mail said there would be 'no escaping history' as a new chapter opens in the sporting rivalry between the nations

The Courier-Mail said there would be ‘no escaping history’ as a new chapter opens in the sporting rivalry between the nations


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify