Red Roses shaded in World Cup fi­nal thriller

The Rugby Paper - - Front Page - ■ By SAM JACK­SON

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.”

PIC­TURE: Getty Im­ages

Ju­bi­la­tion: New Zealand leap for joy af­ter beat­ing Eng­land in the World Cup fi­nal

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