Home Rugby England Fall To Heartbreaking Defeat In Breathtaking World Cup Final

England Fall To Heartbreaking Defeat In Breathtaking World Cup Final

New Zealand 41 – 32 England

What an incredible advert for women’s rugby that was. 

Throughout this whole tournament, we have seen some scintillating rugby but often these were in overly one-sided games. New Zealand and England have by far been the two most impressive teams in this tournament and we are thankful that these two met in the showpiece event.

England came into this game as favourites and they certainly proved why that was the case when they powered into a 17-5 lead after 33 minutes. This was helped by the yellow card received by Sarah Goss for a tip tackle on Katy McLean. The TMO deemed the tackle to be over the horizontal and referee, Joy Neville, dished out a yellow card.

It was the Black Ferns, who in fact, opened the scoring when Selica Winiata scored a try after eight minutes. Winiata showed great pace after gathering a cross-field kick to evade the English defence and New Zealand had a dream start.

England responded with a penalty from the immense Emily Scarratt and the Red Roses then scored a penalty try from a dominant scrum.

Lydia Thompson then scored a great try down the touchline in what would be her first of two tries in the game when she sped down the tramlines to score in the corner.

Scarratt nailed the conversion and New Zealand were handed a lifeline before halftime when the powerful Toka Natua went over to leave the score 17-10 to England at the break.

The second half saw New Zealand take the game to England and Natua went over for her second try just minutes in the second period and all of a sudden a 12 point deficit for the Kiwis had been cut to nothing.

Scarratt added a penalty to nudge the English back in front but from this moment on, the game truly went up another level in terms of entertainment.

Charmaine Smith dove over from the base of a ruck and secured five points thanks to grounding the ball against the base of the post.

This put New Zealand four points ahead but just when you thought England were running out of steam, Thompson came up with her second try of the game in what was even more impressive than her first. She gathered a poor chip from the Black Ferns and gathered the ball on the halfway line. She looked isolated, but she used her incredible pace to evade the New Zealand defence and sprint up the line to put her side back in front. Scarratt missed the conversion, however, and the Red Roses had a one point lead with over 20 minutes remaining.

That was as good as it got for England, however. New Zealand refused to die and they powered back with two great tries through Natua and the excellent Kendra Cocksedge.

This had the match at 36-25 to New Zealand with 15 minutes remaining and it certainly looked bleak for the English. New Zealand put the final nail in the coffin when Winiata went over for her second try with 10 minutes left.

The score read 41-25 and you could easily be forgiven for thinking the English heads would drop but they fought back to 41-32 after a powerful lineout maul resulted in Isabelle Noel-Smith going over the line.

It wasn’t enough and New Zealand held on to win the 2017 World Cup and they are worthy winners.

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About Sean McMahon

Sean is Head of Pundit Arena Rugby. Contact him on Twitter here: