New Zealand and England battled it out for the title of Womens Rugby World Cup champions on Sunday evening at the Twickenham Stoop, with the Black Ferns eventually proving too strong, winning 13-10 in a tense game that saw them having three players yellow carded.
The New Zealand ladies won a remarkable fourth successive title, but had to fight all the way as England gave as good as they got despite the visitors leading 7-0 at the break after a Carla Hohepa try.
It was heartbreak for England, playing at home, as they lost in their third title in a row, but were in the game with scores tied at 10-10 after a Charlotte Barras try while the Kiwis were down to 14 players.
Kelly Brazier kicked the decisive penalty in the 65th minute though, putting the title holders back in front as they held onto the lead and later lifted the trophy.
“These girls were brilliant today,” said captain Melissa Ruscoe.
“Without a huge amount of resources — we certainly didn’t have anywhere near what other teams have had here — but when you’ve got the support like we’ve had here, you’re playing for everybody. You’re not just playing for yourself, and I think that got us over the line,” she added.
Meanwhile, impressive Black Ferns winger Carla Hohepa has taken the IRBs Womens Personality of the Year award for 2010. She finished as joint top try scored with seven tries, beating off other possible award favourites Maggie Alphonsi, Danielle Waterman, and Australias Nicole Beck.
Big congratulations must go out to all the girls who took part in what was a fascinating and enlightening tournament for all of those who attended and followed the games.
Below is an extended highlights video from the IRB. Enjoy.