New Zealand stand in the way of women’s route to the fi­nal

The Rugby Paper - - News | Commonwealth Games -

ENG­LAND Women will face New Zealand in the semi-fi­nal of the Gold Coast 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games af­ter fin­ish­ing sec­ond in pool B.

Eng­land won 45-0 against Wales on day two fol­low­ing Fri­day’s two pool matches where they beat Fiji 17-5 but lost to Aus­tralia 29-12 at the Robina Sta­dium.

Eng­land were set to face New Zealand in the early hours of this morn­ing for a shot at the fi­nal, where they would face ei­ther Aus­tralia or Canada.

Try-scorer Natasha Hunt said: “We set out to just go out and play our game and the girls were amaz­ing – we couldn’t have asked for any more – the de­fence was spot on and in at­tack we were flow­ing so we’re re­ally happy with that.

“We’ve been train­ing re­ally hard to be able to move be­tween dif­fer­ent styles of play and I think we showed that against Wales to­day.”

Heather Fisher added: “For us out here it’s about be­ing the best ver­sion of our­selves and tak­ing each game as it comes.

“We’ll keep go­ing to the very end and keep fight­ing. Every­one wants a medal, it’s a dream and we’re not go­ing to give up.”

Know­ing a win would se­cure their semi-fi­nal spot, Eng­land were ahead against Wales af­ter 40 se­conds through Deb­o­rah Flem­ing.

Hunt scored from a quick tap penalty be­fore a sim­i­lar try from Emily Scar­ratt. Hunt’s sec­ond try of the game came off the back of a scrum.

Eng­land’s fifth score fol­lowed straight from the restart af­ter half-time as Emily Scott gath­ered, dum­mied and raced through. Amy Wil­son Hardy showed her pace around the out-

side twice to­wards the end as Eng­land racked up 45 points with­out con­ced­ing to win com­fort­ably.

Olympic cham­pi­ons Aus­tralia ad­vanced to the semi-fi­nals with a 17-10 win over Fiji, to top Pool B ahead of Eng­land.

Char­lotte Caslick, 23, scored two of the Aus­tralia’s three tries but Fiji showed great spirit to level the score twice with two bril­liant tries from 22-yearold Miriama Naiobasali.

“It was a bit slip­pery out there, but no ex­cuses re­ally,” Caslick said re­fer­ring to why Aus­tralia didn’t play as ex­pected.

“We should have fixed our passes ear­lier. We need to pick up our com­mu­ni­ca­tion as to­mor­row night the noise (from the crowd) will be even louder.”

Aus­tralia will now play Pool A run­ners-up Canada in the first semi-fi­nal on Sun­day, a re­play of the Rio 2016 Olympics semi-fi­nal which Aus­tralia won 17-5.

New Zealand clinched Pool A by beat­ing Canada 24-7 de­spite cap­tain Sarah Goss and dou­ble try scorer Michaela Blyde re­ceiv­ing yel­low cards.

“I was pretty gut­ted ac­tu­ally, just felt I was let­ting the team down,” Goss said. “By get­ting a yel­low card, many had to cover, so I felt bad about that. That was un­for­tu­nate. Ob­vi­ously we’ll try not to get any more of those.”

On day one the Ki­wis scored 86 points with­out re­ply against Kenya (45-0) and South Africa (41-0). Canada also won their open­ing two matches, beat­ing South Africa 29-0 and see­ing off a spir­ited Kenya side 24-12.

Flyer: Deb­o­rah Flem­ing scores against Wales

Fighter: Heather Fisher

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.