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England women beaten in WRWC Final 2017

September 17 2017

The Red Roses were beaten 32-41 to New Zealand in the Women's Rugby World Cup final at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. 


Selica Winiata’s try after eight minutes gave the Black Ferns the lead but England were on the scoreboard through Emily Scarratt’s penalty.

After Black Ferns flanker Sarah Goss was sent to the sin bin for her tackle on Katy Mclean, England took full advantage and got their first try from a five metre scrum when the referee awarded a penalty try.

 A Rachael Burford break eventually set up Lydia Thompson who finished out wide, but Toka Natua’s score for the Kiwis meant a 17-10 half-time lead for the Red Roses .

Natua’s second levelled the game up before another Scarratt penalty edged England ahead, but Charmaine Smith’s try pushed the Black Ferns in front again.

Thompson’s stunning second score, when she raced in down the right touchline, restored England's lead but the New Zealand prop Natua got her hat-trick, and then Kendra Cocksedge and a second from Winiata secured the win and their fifth Women's Rugby World Cup title, despite Izzy Noel-Smith's late converted score for the Red Roses.

The top two ranked sides in the world met on a dry but overcast night in Belfast and produced one of the most engaging games of the tournament, where the lead changed hands five times.

England’s 29-21 win in New Zealand this summer ended a five-match winning run by the Black Ferns over the Red Roses, but they had to settle for second best in Ireland.

 The final was England’s fifth in a row at the Women's Rugby World Cup but they have now been beaten by the Black Ferns in four of those finals, before they defeated Canada at France 2014.

The Kiwis are the most successful side in the competition ever having won the tournament five times.   Three years ago Lydia Thompson had to watch her England team mates lift the trophy after injury ruled her out of the tournament.  And although it was a disappointing night for the team the Worcester wing was at her predatory best at the Kingspan Stadium.  She dived in out wide for her first score and then showed her agility and pace to beat a couple of defenders on the halfway line and sprint down the right touchline to dive over for a stunning score.

England had led 17-10 at the break to put themselves in what looked a commanding position but New Zealand proved too strong in the second 40 minutes.

The Kiwis scored four second-half tries in a game of huge quality and some big hits from both sets of players.

The early score by the Black Ferns was the first time that England had been behind in any game at the tournament, but once the Red Roses went 25-24 up through Thompson’s score the Kiwis ran in three unanswered tries for a lead England could not claw back.   In those scores, prop Natua, who had only scored two tries at international level before the game, completed her hat-trick with three close-range scores.

Scarratt kicked 10 points in the final after she shook off an injury in the first half and conceded the team played their part in magnificent game, but was disappointed they could not secure a second world title in a row.

"The score line suggests a fantastic game of rugby; I’m not sure a Women’s Rugby World Cup final has seen a score like that before," she said.

"We came here with one goal and we have just pulled up a little bit short and fair play to New Zealand they really took it to us.   "Rugby is a really hard game to play without the ball and in that second-half we did not have it enough; that was partly our fault and partly the pressure they put on us.

"Gutted is an understatement but we will move on from this. The support back home has been phenomenal and I can’t thank people enough and I’m just sorry we came up short."

England Women: 15. Emily Scarratt ;14. Lydia Thompson, 13. Megan Jones, 12. Rachael Burford , 11. Kay Wilson; 10. Katy Mclean, 9. Natasha Hunt; 1. Vickii Cornborough, 2. Amy Cokayne, 3. Sarah Bern, 4. Abbie Scott, 5. Tamara Taylor, 6. Alex Matthews, 7. Marlie Packer, 8. Sarah Hunter (C).

16. Vicky Fleetwood, 17. Rochelle Clark, 18. Justine Lucas, 19. Harriet Millar-Mills, 20. Izzy Noel-Smith, 21. La Toya Mason, 22. Amber Reed, 23. Amy Wilson Hardy.


New Zealand: 15. Selica Winiata, 14. Portia Woodman, 13. Stacey Waaka, 12. Kelly Brazier, 11. Renee Wickliffe, 10. Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali, 9. Kendra Cocksedge; 1. Toka Natua, 2. Fiao'o Faamausili (C), 3. Aldora Itunu, 4. Eloise Blackwell, 5. Charmaine Smith, 6. Charmaine McMenamin, 
7. Sarah Goss, 8. Aroha Savage.

Replacements: 16. Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, 17. Sosoli Talawadua, 18. Aleisha Nelson, 19. Rebecca Wood, 20. Lesley Ketu, 21. Kristina Sue, 22. Theresa Fitzpatrick, 23. Carla Hohepa.


Women’s Rugby World Cup Schedule
England 56-5 Spain – Pool B -Wednesday 9 August

England 56-13 Italy – Pool B -Sunday 13 August, 

England 46-26 USA – Pool B - Thursday 17 August,

England 20-3 France – WRWC semi-final -Tuesday 20 August


England 32-41 New Zealand – Women’s Rugby World Cup final

Saturday 26 August


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