Eng­land 1 New Zealand 1

It fin­ished all-square in last month’s An­glo-Kiwi bat­tles on both sides of the world

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“I GI v E th E M th E IN G r E d I E N tS

AN d th E Y BA K E th E CA K E ”

SArAh hunter and the eng­land pack drew in­spi­ra­tion from their male coun­ter­parts’ 2003 win over the All Blacks in the lead-up to their game against the Black Ferns in ro­torua – and it paid off.

hav­ing beaten their big­gest ri­vals on new Zealand soil for the first time since 2001, eng­land head into next month’s Women’s World Cup in Ire­land ranked no 1 and, cru­cially, know­ing they have the game plan to sink the four-time world cham­pi­ons.

eng­land over­came Aus­tralia 53-10 and Canada 27-20 in the In­ter­na­tional Women’s se­ries be­fore beat­ing new Zealand 29-21, a game the for­wards bossed as they scored three tries from driv­ing li­ne­outs.

“Our driv­ing maul was a ma­jor weapon in the six na­tions and it’s a pretty un­de­fend­able weapon,” says for­wards coach Matt Fer­gu­son. “What makes a drive suc­cess­ful is eight peo­ple do­ing ex­actly what is needed at the right time. We talk about bak­ing a cake – I give the play­ers the in­gre­di­ents and they go and make it.”

Win­ning the World Cup would put a large cherry on top of that cake.

BABY BLACKS MAGIC

new Zealand avenged that de­feat on the same week­end as the Baby Blacks de­stroyed eng­land 64-17 in the u20 World Cup fi­nal in tbil­isi.

the 47-point mar­gin was a record, eclips­ing their 62-17 win v Aus­tralia in 2010, and hooker Asafo Au­mua Ranked No 1l eng­land af­ter beat­ingl the Black Fernsl scored only the sec­ond hat-trick in a fi­nal af­ter telusa Veainu’s treble seven years ago. “Freakish power, freakish pace,” said David Flat­man of Au­mua, who beat five de­fend­ers for his third try.

eng­land missed 35 tack­les as a cat­a­logue of in­juries and se­nior call-ups caught up with them, with 13 play­ers ab­sent even be­fore Joe Mullis was car­ried off in the fi­nal.

so Dean ryan, the rFu’s head of in­ter­na­tional player devel­op­ment, was cor­rect to hail eng­land’s tour­na­ment per­for­mance – which in­cluded gutsy wins over Aus­tralia (20-19) and south Africa (24-22) – as an “out­stand­ing achieve­ment”.

Fly-half Max Malins, flanker Ben earl, no 8 Zach Mercer and lock Josh Caulfield were all stand­outs.

GrE At SCotS

scot­land achieved their best fin­ish of fifth when Char­lie shiel – son of ex-scot­land cen­tre gra­ham – scored a late win­ner to beat Aus­tralia 24-17.

Wales ( 7th) and Ire­land (9th) left with re­grets, hosts ge­or­gia top­pled Ar­gentina on their way to tenth, and samoa dropped to the u20 tro­phy.

Ju­nior Bok no 8 Juarno Au­gus­tus won Player of the tour­na­ment.

Hat-trick hero Asafo Au­mua scores in the fi­nal in ge­or­gia

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