Women's Rugby World Cup Results: England 32 New Zealand 41 from the Kingspan Stadium Belfast
Ireland hosted the eighth Women's Rugby World Cup to great acclaim in a tournament which saw New Zealand claim an unprecedented fifth title. After four straight World Cup victories from 1998 to 2010, the Black Ferns came back to form following a disappointing tournament in 2014. New Zealand’s victory also means they have three more titles than their closest counterparts, England.
Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 Final
Both England and New Zealand headed to the Kingspan with exemplary records in World Cups. Since the tournaments’ inception in 1991, England have only ever failed to reach the final once (winning twice). By contrast, the Black Ferns have never lost a final with five appearances wielding five wins. The final was set up to be an epic encounter, and so it proved.
Second Half Display Wins It for New Zealand
England must have been feeling pretty pleased with themselves as they headed into the break with 17 points to 10 lead. A penalty try and the first of a Lydia Thompson double gave England an advantage they deserved. However, some powerful play from the Black Ferns prop Toka Natua who scored a scintillating hat-trick swung the tie in favour of New Zealand and from the 70th minute rammed home their advantage for the fifth title.
The Red Roses came out of the blocks well and managed to run their opponents ragged. However, the longer the match went on, the more New Zealand’s physicality started to play its role. Fly-half Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali played a measured kicking game to ensure the holders went home empty-handed and the Black Ferns took the long flight home as heroes of the Women's Rugby World Cup 2017.
Hosts Fail to Reach the Semi-Finals of the Women's Rugby World Cup
Although it was a tournament to remember for England and New Zealand, the same cannot be said for the hosts Ireland. After losing to Australia and then Wales in the rankings 5 – 8 playoffs, it leaves Ireland with work to do to ensure they qualify for the 2021 World Cup. The hosts will be aiming for revenge next time they take the field and will prove that they can do better.