New Zealand’s running game trumped England’s power to win a thrilling final of the women’s Rugby World Cup 34-31 in Auckland on Saturday and retain their title in front of a record 40,000 crowd.
It was a spectacular end to a tournament that has broken records for attendances and came after England played three-quarters of the game with 14 players.
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) November 12, 2022
Winger Ayesha Leti-I’iga put the Black Ferns ahead with their sixth try and they held at Eden Park to halt England’s world-record winning streak at 30 matches. It was the hosts’ sixth World Cup title.
England’s winger Lydia Thompson was shown a red card for a head-high tackle but they still nearly pulled off victory thanks to the ferocity of their forward play.
Four of England’s five tries came from lineout drives, including a hat-trick to hooker Amy Cokayne, and they were handed a chance to snatch victory in the dying minutes.
However, two lineout drives were repelled by the home team on their tryline and when England knocked-on, the 40,000 crowd – a record for a women’s rugby match – erupted in noise.
It completed a metamorphosis for New Zealand under veteran former All Blacks coach…