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Black Ferns too strong for England Women and clinch Women's Rugby Super Series

Black Ferns too strong for England Women and clinch Women's Rugby Super Series
England Women lost 13-28 to New Zealand Women in their final game of the 2019 Women’s Rugby Super Series to finish second in the tournament overall.

Playing at the University of San Diego’s Torero Stadium, England went into the game three points above New Zealand in the table after wins over USA, Canada and France, with the Black Ferns having beaten USA and Canada, but lost to the French.

And Simon Middleton’s side started well, scoring an early try through Emily Scarratt. However, that was as good as it got, as an error-strewn display handed the initiative back to the Black Ferns who needed no second invitation and they took an iron grip on the game.

The Gloucester-Hartpury trio of Zoe Aldcroft, Kelly Smith and Millie Wood had little chance to make an impact. Aldcroft was introduced off the bench midway through the second half, but Smith and Wood only had a few minutes of action apiece.

In sunny, dry conditions in Southern California, New Zealand were down to 14 players inside four minutes when Toka Natua was sent to the sin bin, and Emily Scarratt knocked over the resultant penalty for the first points of the game.

Kendra Cocksedge’s penalty levelled a few minutes later, but the first try of the match went England’s way when quick rucking saw the ball spun to Scarratt and the outside centre stretched over to score, and got up to add the conversion.

Cocksedge’s jinking run set up the platform for the first Black Ferns try as they spun it out to Renee Wickliffe to dive over, and the Kiwi wing then intercepted the ball on the edge of the 22 to race under the sticks for her second – Cocksedge adding the extras for a 10-15 lead at the break to the Kiwis.

Scarratt’s penalty was the first points of the second half as the Red Roses got back within two points and New Zealand were down to 14 players again when Te Kura Ngata-Arerengemate was penalised for offside.

In a tight, physical second half it was Cocksedge’s two penalties and Wickliffe’s supporting line on the inside saw her complete her hat-trick that secured the win and the title for the Black Ferns.

The final result means New Zealand finished top of the table on 14 points, with England just one point behind on 13 but finishing ahead of France, USA and Canada.

“I don’t think it was a great game, but it was the game that New Zealand wanted it to be and fair play to them as they’re the world’s best at finding a way to win and imposing themselves on teams, and they did that today,” said Head Coach Simon Middleton.

“I thought they were incredibly physical and we struggled to deal with that and never really got going, but that is because of the way they played.

“It is one of those where the players will reflect back on and learn, as will the coaches. It’s a huge experience for the younger ones to come into a Test environment and get schooled a little bit which I think happened today, the best side won by a mile.

“It has been a good competition for us where we’ve shown a lot of character and composure, but there are still lots of things for us to polish up on in our general play in both attack and defence.

“We came here to be as successful as we could but also to develop and learn. An experience like this you learn a lot from, but it is quite chastening.”

England’s Super Series 2019 results

England 38-5 USA

England 19-17 Canada

England 20-18 France

England 13-28 New Zealand
Next Home Match
Kingsholm Stadium
Gloucester Rugby
Sat 28 Nov
KO 15:00
Wasps
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