England’s Women put on an incredibly passionate, determined performance, but it wasn’t enough to beat New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup Final.
In truth, the Black Ferns looked the more likely winners throughout, but somehow, Catherine Spencer’s team hung on in there, making scrambling tackle after scrambling tackle and refusing to let the opposition streak ahead.
The unrelenting spirit was characterised by second row Jo McGilchrist as she somehow chased down the New Zealand winger as she raced for the line. After a 5-minute period of sustained pressure on their line, they eventually emerged unscathed, and you thought it might just be England’s night.
They did level the score at 10-10 with 10 minutes to go, but a late penalty won it for the visitors, and England could not come back.
The whole tournament has been a fine exhibition of Women’s Rugby, and it should serve to raise the profile of the sport around the world. The standard of rugby has been outstanding, and some of the hits are comparable with those you see in the Men’s game.
A sad end for England, but all the players should hold their heads high after a phenomenal effort in defeat.