Dolphins are renowned for having a delectably good relationship with humans – and the above picture certainly vindicates this!

It is of goalkeeper Emma Wirkus hugging one of these marine mammals during an Australia women’s national team day out at the Dolphin Marine Magic park in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales.

The Matildas were having a bit of fun during preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007™, and they certainly enjoyed themselves in the Far East. Australia weren’t expected to reach the knockout stage given that they had Norway and Canada, both positioned above them and in the top ten of the FIFA Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking, for company in Group C.

However, Tom Sermanni’s team kicked off their campaign with a Lisa De Vanna-inspired 4-1 win over Ghana, before the same player’s late equaliser earned them a 1-1 draw with Norway. Requiring a draw in their final first-phase outing to advance at the expense of opponents Canada, Australia got it thanks to Cheryl Salisbury’s 11th-hour leveller.

The Matildas then lost their quarter-final only 3-2 to an an irresistible Brazil side who destroyed the mighty USA 4-0 in the semis.

From playing with dolphins in Coffs Harbour, the Australians proved they could swim with sharks in China.