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Sunday Aug 27, 2017

New Zealand beat England to win 2017 Women's World Cup in Belfast

New Zealand beat England to win 2017 Women's World Cup in Belfast
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New Zealand’s Women’s team beat England 41-32 to win the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Belfast on Saturday evening. It is the fifth world cup victory for the Black Ferns, as they scored seven tries in an thoroughly entertaining final.

Prop Toka Natua scored a hat-trick in the final in Belfast to ensure New Zealand captain Fiao’o Faamausili bowed out with her fourth title and the Black Ferns remain unbeaten in World Cup finals and against England in the showpiece event in the women’s game.

Earlier in the day, France beat USA 31-23 to claim the bronze medal at the Kingspan Stadium in front of a packed house.

Speaking afterwards, New Zealand’s captain Fiao’o Faamausili said: “I’m so proud of the girls, we dug deep, full credit to England, they really gave it to us, but I couldn’t be prouder of the character of our team. We told them they’d have to go into deep, dark places and fight… and that’s what they did.”

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont hailed a tournament that he believes will be a game-changer for the sport: “A magnificent final showcased the very best of rugby to the world and was one of the great Rugby World Cup finals – women or men – and it will be remembered as a game-changer for the sport.
 
“Congratulations to New Zealand, who are deserving champions, but tonight and throughout this tournament, rugby has been the true winner.”

The final placings also saw USA, Canada, Australia and Wales join New Zealand, England and France in the top seven, meaning they qualify for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021.

credit: world rugby

5 Comments

  • larry
    11:16 PM 28/08/2017

    The referee's non call could have cost England the match. That was a penalty for playing the ball off the ground. It had been released by the New Zealand player, and she grabbed the ball again and passed it. I have made that call myself dozens of times over the years. I do not know if the referee saw what happened, as she could have been screened, but did not the touch judges see it, and isn't the TMO allowed to intervene? I believe it was the TMOs who called attention to the referee regarding that dangerous tip tackle in the first half. Regardless, the rugby I saw on the TV from this tournament was fantastic. There was plenty of open running rugby to be seen in various games. Even when the play got tighter, with the multiple "pick and go" phase attack, it seemed to occur very close into the goal line, and running rugby, or tactical kicking, got the ball down close in the first place. There was some defensive kicking that allowed for counter attacks, and I don't recall much aerial ping pong played instead. I was totally entertained. NBC sport televised some of the matches, but one had to cough up the dough for NBC Sport Gold to get them live. Only the USA-NZ match was live on regular cable on that mid-week morning here on the Pacific coast. I saw the replay Sunday night of the final.

    Reply
  • pgrugby
    11:08 PM 27/08/2017

    You're right, I'd missed that she'd first released the ball. Definitely a penalty

    Reply
  • reality
    10:50 PM 27/08/2017

    It's most definitely a penalty. She's tackled, ruck formed, she releases the ball, and then after releasing takes it back into her hands and passes it.

    Reply
  • pgrugby
    10:07 PM 27/08/2017

    Good question. I'm by no means an expert, but I think they let it go to help with the flow of the game - provided the person popping the ball late from the floor isn't doing it in a manner that prevents the opposition from contesting the ball. In a way it's similar to how after a team has fairly and cleanly won the ball in the ruck players will use their hands to move it back a bit, re-position it a bit, to provide a clear ball for their scrumhalf. The key being was the ball already one cleanly and this is not a) preventing the defensive team from competing for the ball and b) giving the attacking team an unfair advantage. Having said the above, and that's only my interpretation and definitely not from any law book or directive, I think it should have been a penalty for 2 reasons: 1) this is clearly a second movement by the NZ player after she first reaches back to try and place the ball and 2) it gives NZ an unfair advantage as the defenders are not expecting such a late pop pass to a player who can just run straight on to it. i.e. I see a difference if she had popped it to the scrumhalf who had then passed it to someone. The England players would have seen the ball pop up and could have started moving up on defense before the ball even hit the scrumhalf's hands. So while the scrumhalf does get the ball cleanly (and maybe illegally), the England players can actually start moving up sooner than if the scrumhalf is passing the ball straight from the ground. So it helps continuity and is actually a win-win (or lose-lose) for both teams.

    Reply
  • petersam
    5:37 PM 27/08/2017

    Great game and NZ deserved the win (from an English coach of women's rugby!). I do have a question for the referees amongst you though: Why was the NZ try at around 03:50 allowed? You can clearly see the number 10 is tackled short of the line, releases the ball then passes it to the scrum half from the floor in a separate, later motion. I ask because I don't think it was just something the referee missed, I saw Courtney Lawes do the same for the English men's team against Australia. I thought a single, immediate release (with a fairly liberal interpretation of "immediate") was the rule. Would be happy to hear from anyone with expertise on this.

    Reply


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