- Tries by Spencer and Waterman secure WRWC Final spot
- England to meet New Zealand in third consecutive WRWC Final
Photo: Seiser Photography
England will play New Zealand in the final of the Women’s Rugby World Cup on Sunday, September 5 at the Twickenham Stoop, kick off 5.15pm, after a thrilling 15-0 semi final victory over Australia.
It will be a third consecutive world cup final meeting for the giants of the women’s game, but this time England will be hoping they can steal the world cup crown from the Black Ferns on home soil and win the world cup for the first time in 16 years.
England booked their place in the final thanks to tries from skipper Catherine Spencer and full back Danielle Waterman in the first half while Katy McLean and Alice Richardson added five points with the boot.
England Head Coach Gary Street, whose side have defeated Ireland, Kazakhstan, USA and Australia on route to the final, said: “I’m delighted we are in the final. This is just reward for all the management and players who have worked so hard.
AUDIO – Cath Spencer looks forward to the final against New Zealand
“Australia were another tough opponent. Every team that plays against England seem to raise their game and they were no different. They were committed and decisive. We obviously need to keep improving, but our defensive effort was huge and it showed how hard our girls will work to win this world cup.
“New Zealand are obviously a world class side, but they’ll find us their toughest opponents yet. The last time we played them we also won so we won’t fear them. I’m sure it’ll be an epic encounter and I know that the public will once again see a game of great quality from the best two women’s teams in the world. It’s often said that the last world cup final was the greatest game of women’s rugby ever; now it’s our job to top that.”
There was no hanging around by England at the start of this game with the host side making their presence felt straight away. England’s most capped player Amy Garnett made some tremendous breaks early on while Richardson, at centre, came close to scoring after she cut a great line.
England carried that momentum forward with a good scrum deep into Australia’s territory, and in true Spencer style, the explosive No. 8 picked and went from the back of the scrum to score after just seven minutes. Fly half Katy McLean added the conversion.
Australia couldn’t retaliate and were constantly on the defence, a ferocious tackle by Nicole Beck, saving a near score by Fiona Pocock, just metres from the left wing.
Their defence couldn’t keep holding up though and after more barrages of attack they ran out of defenders when Amy Turner, having a superb game at scrum half on her 50th cap, popped the ball up to Waterman on the right wing after Emily Scarratt was tackled just short of the try line. McLean this time couldn’t make the conversion and the hosts went into the break 12-0 up.
AUDIO – Danielle Waterman on the semi final win
The spirit and the defence of the Australians didn’t dampen in the second half though and a lack of precision by England combined with great defending by Australia prevented any further score. Australia in fact seemed even more inspired and made England work hard both in attack and defence. England, however, weathered the storm, even when they were a player down after Heather Fisher was sin-binned, but with Richardson adding a 78th minute penalty England secured their cup final ticket.
Tickets are still available for the final at the Twickenham Stoop on Sunday, September 5. You can buy tickets now via RFU.com or by calling calling Ticketmaster on +44 (0)844 844 2010. For a full schedule of fixtures and to follow England in the WRWC visit www.rfu.com/wrwc.
15 Danielle Waterman (Worcester), 14 Charlotte Barras (Saracens), 13 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield), 12 Alice Richardson (Richmond), 11 Fiona Pocock (Richmond), 10 Katy McLean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) VC, 9 Amy Turner (Richmond), 1 Rochelle Clark (Team Northumbria), 2 Amy Garnett (Saracens), 3 Rosemarie Crowley (Lichfield), 4 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 5 Jo McGilchrist (Wasps), 6 Heather Fisher (Worcester), 7 Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens), 8 Catherine Spencer (Bristol) Captain. Replacements: 16 Emma Croker (Richmond), 17 Sophie Hemming (Bristol), 18 Becky Essex (Richmond), 19 Sarah Beale (Lichfield), 20 La Toya Mason (Richmond), 21 Rachael Burford (Richmond), 22 Michaela Staniford (Wasps).
Tries: Spencer, Waterman
Substitutions: Staniford for Pocock (22), Hemming for Clark (47), Essex for Taylor (51), Croker for Garnett (55), Beale for Spencer, Burford for McLean (59), Mason for Turner (66),
15 Tricia Brown, 14 Kristy Giteau , 13 Sharni Williams, 12 Cheyenne Campbell, 11 Nicole Beck, 10 Tobie McGann, 9 Cheryl Soon (C), 1 Danielle Meskell, 2 Silei Poluleuligaga, 3 Lindsay Morgan, 4 Chris Ross, 5 Kate Porter, 6 Rebecca Trethowan, 7 Alex Hargreaves, 8 Debby Hodgkinson. Replacement: 16 Se'ei Sa'u, 17 Margaret Watson, 18 Rebecca Clough, 19 Shannon Parry, 20 Iliseva Batibasaga, 21 Cobie-Jane Morgan, 22 Ruan Sims
Referee: Nicky Inwood
Assistant Referees: Andrew McMenemy & Kirstin Ljungdahl
Half time score: England 12 Australia 0