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New Zealand's 'Black Ferns' were bidding to put their name on the Women's Rugby World Cup Trophy for a fourth time in a row, when they faced England in a third successive World Cup final at The Stoop in Twickenham on Sunday.
The 'Black Ferns' dominated possesion and territory in the first half. Two of their players had already been sent to the sin bin, before Carla Hohepa skilfully stepped her way through the host nation's defensive line in the 33rd minute for her joint-best seventh try of the tournament. Kelly Brazier's conversion made it 7-0, but Katy McLean missed an opportunity to trim the lead to four points as she missed a penalty with the last touch of the first half.
The England fly-half made amends with a successful penalty three minutes into the second half, making it 7-3. The 1994 champions were still on the back foot and it took a brilliant last-ditch tackle from lock Joanna McGilchrist to deny Hohepa a determining second try.
Having already missed two kicks at the posts, Brazier slotted home a 56th-minute penalty and the 'Black Ferns' stretched their lead to seven points.
But captain Melissa Ruscoe became the third New Zealand player to receive a yellow card in the 57th minute and England took advantage four minutes later. Forward pressure finally paid off as captain Catherine Spencer broke off the back of a scrum and fed Amy Turner, who moved the ball on to Charlotte Barras. The winger barged her way to the try line and grabbed a fourth try of the tournament before McLean kicked the conversion to level the score at 10-all.
However, England conceded a pricey penalty in the 66th minute and Brazier was once again on target to edge New Zealand back in front by three points. England were forced back into their own half for most of the remaining minutes. Scrum-half Emma Jensen booted the ball into touch after the final buzzer and sealed a 13-10 victory.
|New Zealand's 'Black Ferns' were bidding to put their name on the Women's Rugby |
World Cup Trophy for a fourth time in a row, when they faced England in a third
successive World Cup final at The Stoop in Twickenham on Sunday.