A closer look at England’s route to the Women’s Rugby World Cup final
England will face New Zealand in the Women’s Rugby World Cup final at Eden Park, Auckland on Saturday.
The Red Roses are chasing a third world title, having won the tournament in 1994 and 2014, while New Zealand have triumphed on five occasions, with four of their victorious finals being against England.
Here, the PA news agency looks at England’s route to the final.
Pool C: England 84 Fiji 19
England arrived in New Zealand following a comprehensive tournament warm-up victory over Wales, and they continued their free-scoring form by brushing aside Fiji. Claudia MacDonald claimed four of England’s 14 tries as the Red Roses passed their previous-best points total in a World Cup game of 82, set against Kazakhstan 12 years ago.
Pool C: England 13 France 7
The Red Roses knew France would provide comfortably their toughest pool stage test, and so it proved during a pulsating encounter in Whangarei. Centre Emily Scarratt scored all of England’s points through a try, conversion and two penalties, steering her team into pole position as potential Pool C winners.
Pool C: England 75 South Africa 0
England head coach Simon Middleton rang the changes for his squad’s final pool game – six players made their first tournament appearance – but another impressive and efficient display proved way too much for South Africa. Rosie Galligan and Connie Powell each scored try hat-tricks as the Red Roses cruised home.
Quarter-final: England 41 Australia 5
Skipper Sarah Hunter became the most-capped player in English rugby union history, making her 138th Test match appearance as the Red Roses overcame testing wet conditions in Auckland to knock out Australia. Hunter scored England’s opening try, while her back-row colleague Marlie Packer touched down three times on a day when England’s forwards took charge.
Semi-final: England 26 Canada 19
England recorded a 30th successive Test match victory, but they were made to fight every inch of the way before securing a place in the final. Wing Abby Dow scored two tries, including a brilliant individual effort, with Packer also touching down and Scarratt kicking 11 points that ultimately kept resilient opponents at bay.
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