Saturday 17 February 2018

Black Ferns set up England showdown

Portia Woodman of New Zealand celebrates after scoring her fourth try during the Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 Semi Final match between New Zealand and the United States at the Kingspan Stadium, Belfast. Photo: GETTY
Portia Woodman of New Zealand celebrates after scoring her fourth try during the Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 Semi Final match between New Zealand and the United States at the Kingspan Stadium, Belfast. Photo: GETTY
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Ireland will meet Wales in a seventh place play-off on Saturday before they can put their miserable World Cup campaign to bed.

The hosts won't even get to play at the Kingspan Stadium again as their defeat to Australia yesterday has relegated them to Queen's University.

Wales were absolutely destroyed by Canada who were evidently fuming after they missed out on a semi-final spot. Wales had limited Canada to a 15-0 win at the pool stage, but had no answer this time.

Elissa Alarie scored two of her side's eight tries as Canada eased their way to a facile 52-0 win against a very poor Welsh side.

Portia Woodman has been the undoubted star of the tournament and the flying winger helped herself to another four tries as New Zealand cruised into the final.

The result was never in any doubt as the Black Ferns blitzed USA 45-12. Woodman's four-try haul took her overall tally to 13. She will take some stopping in Saturday's decider against England.

"This has taken a lot of hard work from the girls and we're so excited to be in the final," Black Ferns captain Fiao'o Faamausili said.

"Full credit to the USA, I have a lot of respect for them, they really gave it to us. We had to dig deep and I couldn't be any prouder of my girls. Portia Woodman loves scoring tries and full credit to our forwards, who did all the hard work up front."

Standing in New Zealand's way of winning a record fifth title are defending champions England who squeezed passed France in an enthralling contest. Sarah Bern's try on the hour mark set England on their way and a late effort from Megan Jones sealed a 20-3 win.

Elsewhere, Italy set up a ninth-place play-off with Spain after they saw off the challenge of Japan. Michela Sillari scored a brace in a 22-0 win.

Spain were also comfortable 31-7 winners over Hong Kong which means that they will take on Japan in a bid to avoid the wooden spoon.

Irish Independent

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