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Home > News > England Women unable to end NZRWC stranglehold
Your News England Women unable to end NZRWC stranglehold

England 10 New Zealand 13

England were unable to end New Zealand’s stranglehold on the Women’s Rugby World Cup (WRWC) on Sunday as the defending champions were crowned world champions for a fourth successive tournament.

England came so close to taking rugby’s ultimate prize with a magnificent effort in front of a record breaking crowd of over 13,000 people at the Twickenham Stoop, drawing level with the Black Ferns in the last quarter. Only a late penalty from the boot of centre Kelly Brazier took the victory out of England’s reach.

England Head Coach Gary Street said: “I am so proud of the players. At the moment we are all so disappointed but I genuinely believe in the bigger picture of this result. The legacy this tournament will leave behind is huge. The fact that a women’s rugby game filled the Stoop is ground breaking. Such a thought would have been regarded as nonsense before this tournament began.

“New Zealand were excellent today but our defence matched their attack, and I thought we had the momentum at 10-10 to take the win, but unfortunately for us they eventually won by the smallest of margins.”

A nervous start by England put the home side on the defence from the beginning with a knock on from the kick off which handed New Zealand an early opportunity to exert their dominance. Immediately the Black Ferns showed why they are world class, and made England defend furiously. An incredible effort in defence, including try saving tackles by Danielle Waterman and Margaret Alphonsi saved an early score by the visitors.

New Zealand also had their first opportunity at the posts within eight minutes but Brazier missed the target, as did Emma Jensen six minutes later, letting England off the hook.

With New Zealand in explosive form England were unable to get into their stride and were constantly on the defensive, though they had their first real chance following the sin-binning of fly-half Anna Richards.

Some good immediate pressure by England got them into New Zealand’s 22 for the first time, but just like England’s defence New Zealand held firm. England fly half Katy McLean was also unable to add three points after missing a penalty.

New Zealand, meanwhile, lost a second player, Mel Bosman, to the sin bin but moments later England gave away a penalty in their own 22. New Zealand opted not to kick for goal and their gamble paid off. With Richards returning to the field, the visitors took a nice clean line out ball and spun it into the midfield, with wing Carla Hohepa finding a gap to touchdown for the first try and first points of the evening on 33 minutes. Brazier added the conversion to hand her side a 7-0 lead the break

But England’s hopes were far from fading and McLean soon added England’s first points with a steadying 43rd minute penalty. Brazier could have matched McLean’s efforts minutes later but her kick went astray leaving England just 7-3 adrift.

Hohepa was once again in dangerous form and made a threatening break, but lock Jo McGilchrist matched the winger’s speed to execute a try saving tackle to stop the Black Ferns adding any more points to the score board. England were once again magnificent in defence as Richards went close, before they were overturned.

Brazier stroked over a 55th minute penalty but with New Zealand losing captain Melissa Ruscoe to the sin bin England were now in control to the delight of the Stoop crowd. A well worked England line-out and drive saw scrum half Amy Turner go close. New Zealand were penalised and a series of scrums saw the home side batter New Zealand’s defence. Eventually another solid scrum just five metres out saw Turner pop the ball out to the right wing for Charlotte Barras to pounce on and score. With McLean adding the conversion England drew level at 10-10.

England rolled on their experienced replacements for some fresh legs but they were unable to make a further dent on the score board. In fact it was New Zealand who took advantage stroking over a crucial 65th minute penalty and putting the victory out of reach for the home side.


15 Danielle Waterman (Worcester), 14 Charlotte Barras (Saracens), 13 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield), 12 Rachael Burford (Richmond), 11 Katherine Merchant (Worcester), 10 Katy McLean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) VC, 9 Amy Turner (Richmond), 1 Rochelle Clark (Team Northumbria), 2 Amy Garnett ( Saracens), 3 Sophie Hemming (Bristol), 4 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 5 Jo McGilchrist (Wasps), 6 Sarah Hunter (Lichfield), 7 Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens), 8 Catherine Spencer (Bristol) Captain. Replacements: 16 Emma Croker (Richmond), 17 Claire Purdy (Wasps), 18 Becky Essex (Richmond), 19 Sarah Beale (Lichfield), 20 La Toya Mason (Wasps), 21 Alice Richardson(Richmond), 22 Amber Penrith (Worcester)

Tries: Barras

Conversions: McLean

Penalties: McLean

Substitutions: Richardson for Burford (50), Purdy for Clark, Essex for Taylor (both 64), Croker for Merchant, Mason for Turner (all 69), Beale for Spencer (70)

New Zealand

15 Victoria Grant, 14 Carla Hohepa, 13 Huriana Manuel , 12 Kelly Brazier, 11 Renee Wickliffe, 10 Anna Richards , 9 Emma Jensen, 1 Ruth McKay, 2 Fiao'o Fa'amausili, 3 Mel Bosman, 4 Vita Robinson, 5 Victoria Heighway, 6 Melissa Ruscoe (C), 7 Justine Lavea, 8 Casey Robertson. Replacements: 16 Karina Penetito, 17 Stephanie Te Ohaere-Fox, 18 Linda Itunu, 19 Joan Sione, 20 Kendra Cocksedge,

21 Rebecca Mahoney, 22 Trisha Hina

Tries: Hohepa

Conversions: Brazier

Penalties: Brazier (2)

Half time score:England 0 New Zealand 7

Referee:Sarah Corrigan

Assistant Referees: David Keane & Kerstin Ljungdahl

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