Red Roses shaded in World Cup final thriller
ENGLAND Women failed in their bid to win back-toback World Cups when they were overwhelmed by New Zealand in the final in Belfast last night.
The Black Ferns won 41-32 in a match of 11 tries after dominating the second half. England had led 17-10 at the break.
England star full-back Emily Scarratt said: “As the score suggests it was a fantastic game of ruby, but you can’t play without the ball. That was partly our fault and partly the pressure they put us under.
“We came here to win and we’re gutted, but we have to thank everyone for their fantastic support.”
The Red Roses were hoping to emulate the England Women’s cricket team who won their World Cup earlier this summer.
And as the only professional side in the tournament they were the
early favourites to do so, having beaten New Zealand in their previous encounter, and their standing as Wolrd Cup champions from the last tournament in 2015.
But the Black Ferns turned in a scintillating display of powerful free-running rugby in the second half to destroy England’s hopes.
Scarratt added: “So many girls were playing in their first World Cup that we must hope they can move on from this and we can come again.
“I hope we have raised the profile of the game in England. It was certainly a spectacle tonight, never boring. There were tries everywhere, unfortunately not enough from us.
England fly-half Katy McLean, above, said: “If we have encouraged just one girl to take up rugby then we have succeeded.”
England coach Simon Middleton defended his second half substitutions. “We were fine with those, he said. “We just couldn’t get the ball in the second half.”
Jubilation: New Zealand leap for joy after beating England in the World Cup final