10 November 2022

Remarkable Red Roses run faces final test as England enter New Zealand showdown

10 November 2022

England go into the Women’s Rugby World Cup final on a Test-record 30-match winning run but face another team in form in hosts New Zealand.

Simon Middleton’s side have blown past the Black Ferns’ previous world record of 24 successive Test wins and will be looking to extend their run one game further in the biggest match of all.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the sequence of results and how it compares.

New Zealand record

New Zealand won 24 straight Tests from May 2002 before losing 10-3 to England in November 2009.

Along the way they scored 871 points, an average of 36.3 per game, and conceded only 153 – less than a converted try, 6.4 points, per match.

While England were the team to end the run, they were also the most frequent opponents along the way with the Black Ferns winning six meetings between the sides, by scores of 19-9, 38-0, 24-15, 33-8, 25-17 and 16-3.

They had five wins over Australia and four against Canada, with France, Scotland, Germany, the United States, Samoa and a World XV their other victims.

England’s current run

September’s 73-7 hammering of Wales saw England head into the World Cup as record-breakers and they have since beaten Fiji, France, South Africa, Australia and Canada to reach Saturday’s final.

Not since July 2019, and a 28-13 defeat to New Zealand, have Middleton’s side failed to win a Test match.

That match, the final game and title decider of the five-team Super Series in the United States, saw Kiwi wing Renee Wickliffe run in a hat-trick – the 35-year-old remains a part of the squad at this tournament and scored twice against Scotland.

England beat France in three of their next four Tests and nine times in total on the run – with those matches ranking as the nine narrowest winning margins until the 26-19 semi-final win over Canada slotted in seventh.

England beat Les Bleues by two points on three occasions, four, six (twice), 10, 12 and 23 and every other opponent prior to last weekend by at least 27.

Their overall record reads 1,405 points scored and only 247 conceded, a per-match average of 46.8 to 8.2.

That includes a pair of comprehensive wins over New Zealand, 43-12 and 56-15 in the autumn of 2021 – though the Black Ferns have responded well since then.

Wayne Smith’s side followed up those losses with two more against France but have been perfect since, an 11-match winning run averaging almost 46 points scored and just over nine conceded and capped with a semi-final win over France by a single point in Auckland.

Back at Eden Park and with recent form to rival England’s, they will be a force to be reckoned with as the Red Roses look to crown their glorious run in the most fitting fashion.

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