The final day of pool play at the Women’s Rugby World Cup decided the four sides that will go through to the semi-finals in Paris on Wednesday, August 13th. Ireland will play in their first ever semi-final, against England, while hosts France take on Canada.
The French side beat Australia 17-3 to finish top of Pool C, while Ireland beat Kazakhstan to top Pool B. That, combined with England and Canada’s 13-13 draw, meant that for the first time in the tournament’s history, New Zealand will not take place in the semi-finals.
“It’s hugely gutting and we’re all down about it. But at the end of the day, we had our fate in our hands in the game against Ireland and we didn’t nail that and we didn’t play well enough that day,” said Black Ferns coach Brian Evans.
“We knew the result of the Canada v England game so it was pretty hard. We didn’t tell the players unless they asked, so some of them knew and full credit to them because they performed really, really well even knowing that we were out. But the rest of the team we left it ’til afterwards.”
England qualified as top of Pool A, with Canada as the best runners up.
“Ireland are a side we know extremely well from playing them in the Six Nations so this is a clash we are really excited about. They play a fast, expansive game and we have now got three days to prepare for this semi-final,” said England coach Gary Street.
“With hosts France and Canada into the other semi-finals, I think this is a really exciting line-up for the knock out stages of the Rugby World Cup.”
View the highlights from all the other matches on page two of this post