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England Jolt Black Ferns

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
England Jolt Black Ferns

Wellington, Nov 22 NZPA - Defending women's rugby world champions New Zealand were jolted as England ground out a 10-3 win at Twickenham today (NZT).

It was their first victory over New Zealand in eight years, and came just seven days after the Black Ferns defeated England 16-3 in the two-test series.

Just nine months out from the women's rugby World Cup, England were in impressive form, scoring the only try of the match courtesy of skipper Catherine Spencer.

The Bristol No 8, on her 50th cap, also went on to win the woman of the match award. Vice-captain Katy McLean stroked over the conversion and a second half drop goal to secure the victory.

England head coach Gary Street couldn't have been happier with his team's form.

"We won this game because of our physicality, our defence was tremendous and we really believed in ourselves," he said.

"From here now the important thing is that we keep moving forward and improving. We know that winning the World Cup is not a pipe dream any more, we can do it and that is our goal for the next nine months."

New Zealand dominated territory early on, and went close to scoring after a good line-out deep in England's 22. But the England defence held strong, and the Black Ferns instead opted for the drop goal which first five-eighth Rebecca Mahoney slotted after 12 minutes.

England hit the front after an excellent period of controlled play, recycling possession with patience until Spencer found the space to score after 25 minutes.

England went into the halftime leading 7-3, and extended that margin early in the second spell with a dropped goal to Katy McLean after New Zealand spilled the ball from the kick-off.

New Zealand had their chance to close the gap with two penalties, but Mahoney couldn't convert, and England's dominance of territory and possession proved too much to overcome.

 

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