England book World Cup final place
Published 13/08/2014 | 19:35
England's women powered into the World Cup final after seeing off Ireland 40-7 at Stade Jean Bouin in Paris.
Katy Mclean's team produced their best performance of the tournament against opponents whose semi-final appearance had been underpinned by a stunning pool stage victory over competition heavyweights New Zealand.
England will meet France or Canada in next Sunday's final.
Ireland took the lead through an early try from wing Alison Miller that full-back Niamh Briggs converted, but England established a firm grip on proceedings by scoring 18 points in 13 first-half minutes.
Prop Rochelle Clark claimed an opening close-range touchdown, then wing Kat Merchant rounded off a sweeping move, with centre Emily Scarratt booting two penalties and a conversion.
Scarratt completed her penalty hat-trick shortly after the restart, and Ireland could find no way back as England marched on in pursuit of World Cup glory following three runners-up finishes between 2002 and 2010.
Wing Kay Wilson added a third try before substitute forward Marlie Packer claimed a quickfire double and Ceri Large kicked two conversions as Ireland's bid for silverware ground to an emphatic halt.
England enjoyed superiority in every key area, particularly up-front, and possessed the game's outstanding individual performers in Scarratt, her midfield partner Rachel Burford and flanker Maggie Alphonsi.
It was a ruthless display when it mattered most by England, with their dominance reflected through a five-to-one try count.
And they now have a glorious chance to erase memories of an agonising 13-10 World Cup final defeat against New Zealand at the Twickenham Stoop four years ago.
Ireland, meanwhile, head into the weekend's bronze medal match, where they will face the tournament's other beaten semi-finalists.