England 1 New Zealand 1
It finished all-square in last month’s Anglo-Kiwi battles on both sides of the world
“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