New Zealand prove just too strong in a thrilling fi­nal

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Front Page - By Kate Rowan at the Kingspan Sta­dium

Eng­land lost their World Cup ti­tle to a ruth­less New Zealand side 41-32 last night but ex­pressed the hope that the sport of women’s rugby would be the real win­ner from a thrilling show­piece in Belfast.

Eng­land came up just short in front of a rau­cous crowd in the Kingspan Sta­dium in a game that was broad­cast live on ITV.

Emily Scar­ratt was un­der­stand­ably bit­terly dis­ap­pointed but em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of the style in which the game was played.

“The score­line sug­gests a fan­tas­tic game of rugby; I’m not sure a Women’s Rugby World Cup fi­nal has seen a score like that be­fore,” she said.

“We came here with one goal and we have just pulled up a lit­tle bit short and fair play to New Zealand they re­ally took it to us. Rugby is a re­ally hard game to play with­out the ball and in that sec­ond-half we did not have it enough; that was partly our fault and partly the pres­sure they put on us.

“Gut­ted is an un­der­state­ment but we will move on from this. The sup­port back home has been phe­nom­e­nal and I can’t thank peo­ple enough and I’m just sorry we came up short.”

With her voice catch­ing, she added: “We put in a shift but it wasn’t enough. When you have a loss like this you feel a bit empty, like a sen­tence is un­fin­ished.”

Re­place­ment util­ity back Am­ber Reed also re­asserted how the game will help to grow the women’s game while expressing how New Zealand were the su­pe­rior team.

“We des­per­ately wanted to win the World Cup but we also wanted to progress the game of rugby and hope­fully we did that.

“The noise and the an­thems were in­cred­i­ble. It has been ab­so­lutely thrilling through­out.

“New Zealand were on the front foot and fin­ished and that is what you want to do.”

‘Rugby is a re­ally hard game to play with­out the ball and in the sec­ond half we didn’t have it enough’

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