New Zealand won its sixth world title in women’s rugby at home on Saturday, November 12. She barely overcame England (34-31) after a spectacular and intense final.
This new victory of the Black Ferns, in a match with eleven tries, stops at the same time the series of 30 consecutive successes of the Red Roses, first in the world ranking. Their last defeat dated back to July 2019 against… New Zealand.
Ruby Tui’s teammates thus retain their title, won in 2017 against… England, world champion in 2014.
Suspense to the end
The New Zealanders were however taken for a long time by the score (19-26 at the break), against the English more powerful physically and yet reduced to 14 from the 18th minute, after the expulsion of the back Lydia Thomson for a tackle unchecked on Kiwi wing Portia Woodman, who is out injured.
With unlucky kickers on both sides, Emily Scarratt on the English side and Renée Holmes on the black side, each team could only count on its most offensive players, mainly forwards for the Red Roses and backs for the Black Ferns .
But carried by 42,500 spectators, in a supercharged stadium, the New Zealanders were able to get back on the scoreboard each time, before taking the lead after a high-class try scored by Leti-l’iga (71st).
French women in bronze
The bronze medal of the competition went to France, victorious over Canada (36-0) a little earlier, during a one-way match. With five tries, including a double from the Marine Ménager wing, the women’s XV of France perfectly managed to overcome their disappointment suffered in the semi-finals, losing by a small point (25-24) against the New Zealanders to finish in third place.
Les Bleues thus won a sixth bronze medal in nine editions and the coach, Thomas Darracq, underlined a “Very positive result”, bodes well for the future, with the Six Nations Tournament in the spring and especially the 2025 World Cup in England.
In the Women’s World Rugby Cup, France is the country that has most often finished in third place. This was already the case in 1994, 2002, 2006, 2014 and 2017.