29 November 2021
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Rugby: New Zealand overcome England to retain World Cup crown

September 6, 2010

A 13-10 final scoreline in New Zealand’s favour secured the reigning champions their fourth consecutive World Cup victory last night in front of an incredible vocally supportive crowd.

NZ-championsMore than 13,000 people witnessed the Black Ferns triumph at the Twickenham Stoop, where a tense 80 minutes saw three yellow cards for the winners who continually tested the patience of the referee.

New Zealand secured their narrow win through territorial dominance and sheer perseverance, not allowing the referee’s decisions to get in their way of a third consecutive beating of England.

Both teams proved their yearning for the title from the get go, with England squaring up to the Black Ferns during the pre match haka, showing they held no fear.

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Rachael Burford’s Rugby World Cup blog (part 4)

Rugby: Ireland’s semi final hopes dashed despite victory

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After a nervous start from England following hooker Amy Garnett’s knock on from the kick off, New Zealand dominated, though some strong England defence managed to hold them back.

Following a scrum, New Zealand blasted their way through centre Rachael Burford’s tackle, with it left to full-back Danielle Waterman to make a try-saving hit on fly-half Kelly Brazier.

A number of missed kicks by both sides proved mounting nerves, with nothing to show for the penalties awarded. With New Zealand continuing to exercise control England rarely made it out of their own half, however a numerical advantage gained through the sin binning of New Zealand fly-half Anna Richards seemed to give hope to the expectant crowd.

However, with fly-half Katy McLean’s first penalty effort drifting just wide of the posts the score remained static, but a rising penalty count against the Black Ferns finally found England the ball, and it was no surprise when prop Mel Bosman was also sin binned with just over ten minutes of the first half remaining on the clock.

Despite their numerical disadvantage it was New Zealand who struck first, when wing Carla Hohepa scored in the corner after some good forwards work. England failed to commit enough bodies at the breakdown, leaving the path open for the IRB’s World Player of the Year to step over Burford and scrum-half Amy Turner to secure the points, with Brazier successfully adding the extras for the 7-0 lead.

England’s first clean chance of the game came with a wide ball which could have led to a two on one had the referee not called the play back for crossing. Another failed penalty attempt by McLean after she hit the upright as the half ran out left the half time score at 7-0.

And the half time entertainment… you’ve guessed it! Where would a World Cup final be without a streaker!

England needed to start the second half singing and the chance promptly came as the Black Ferns conceded yet another penalty and McLean opened England’s account. This seemed to kick start the action, with Hohepa very nearly adding a second try to the game after an England turnover, however lock Joanna McGilchrist saved the points with a screaming cover tackle.

As the tension grew, Brazier’s second penalty opened up a 10-3 lead for the Black Ferns, but the sin binning of their captain, flanker Melissa Ruscoe, brought them back with a bump, and seemed to lift the crowd into a further rendition of ‘Swing Low’.

The game was on the line as England opted to scrummage from the penalty. After some great work from the pack England broke, playing the ball tight with the forwards, forcing New Zealand to defend desperately.

As England skipper Catherine Spencer picked up the ball and rumbled on it found wing Charlotte Barras who crossed the line to score her fourth try of the tournament. McLean nailed the extras to level the score.

A number of replacements for both sides seemed to give the remaining game a slightly disjointed feel, however New Zealand managed to hold it together for long enough to prove their worth as the reigning champions, as Brazier held her nerve to land a penalty to take the score to 13-10.

With 30 seconds left on clock England knocked the ball on summing up their day. After a New Zealand scrum they kept the ball tight with the forwards whilst running the clock down until they kicked the ball out of play to secure their World Cup victory.

Speaking after the match, New Zealand captain, Melissa Ruscoe, said: “It doesn’t quite feel real, but it’s an unbelievable feeling. The girls just put their whole heart into it and got us through the game.”

New Zealand wing Carla Hohepa, the IRB Women’s Personality of the Year 2010, commented: “Awesome, like I said earlier, it is definitely a team award. Everyone has put 100% in and it showed out there today. I can’t take all the credit for it but an awesome honour.”

England captain, Catherine Spencer, said: “We came here to win and we got three points close to it and didn’t quite get there in the end. Very gutted, but still proud of the girls here today and I think we can look back in a few months time and be really proud of what we have achieved over the last couple of years.”

England have been in four of the previous five World Cup finals, winning the tournament in 1994, but losing out to New Zealand in the past two.

Jessica Whittington, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

Image credit: Martin Seras Lima

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