venue: Big Fellas Stadium, Featherstone
8th July 2013
Full Match Report
WOMEN'S WORLD CUP GROUP STAGE
England saw their hopes of World Cup success dashed by a defiant New Zealand as they lost 34-16 in Featherstone.
Lenient refereeing by South African, and former Halifax player, Jamie Bloem saw an open and highly contested match which provided a great advert for women’s Rugby League.
New Zealand started on front foot and England responded with good defensive play, with three bone crunching tackles in quick succession making many in the 1127 crowd wince.
The New Zealand Ferns kept the pressure on the host nation and the scoring opened on four minutes, as a pass from Honey Hireme set Karley Te Kana through on the left-hand side.
The hard hits kept coming and with England trapped in their own half, the try count was doubled just after the 20 minute mark after Sarina Fiso found space following a nice set play from the dummy-half.
Shortly after the half-hour point, Honey Hireme’s pace sent her through to increase their lead to 12 points.
As half-time approached, England gained possession in their own half and a number of carries saw a nice switch from the left to right wing, where Amy Hardcastle crashed over the line.
Captain Natalie Gilmour converted the resulting kick and it fired the crowd up before the half-time whistle as the score was set at 12-6.
Chris Chapman’s team-talk proved effective as England came out fighting and Hardcastle scored under the sticks to rejuvenate the crowd. Gilmour’s successful kick drew the sides level again.
Fiso rained on the crowd’s high spirits as New Zealand responded with a try to make it 16-12 but New Zealand’s unsuccessful kicking helped keep the scores close.
Then New Zealand’s star player Hireme fumbled the ball and Hardcastle slipped past the defender to score her hat-trick and draw England level.
A five-minute period of end-to-end play was ended as Akanese Pereira barrelled over the line and Laura Mariu scored her first conversion to open up a four point gap over England, with 13 minutes remaining.
Five minutes later Kelly Maipi evaded a tackle to increase the lead to 12 points with 8 minutes remaining and a minute from time, Pereira scored once again to effectively end England’s hopes of progressing to the later stages of the tournament.
Chris Chapman can be proud of his team’s performances in the tournament, as they fought hard in both of their matches, which underwhelmed their efforts.
Winning Head Coach, Lynley Tierney-Mani, said: “We put ourselves under pressure and gave England the game for a long period of the game. Credit to England for their performance, they have improved a lot since their game against Australia on Friday but I’m happy with how my team responded to going behind and regaining a grip on the game.”
Anfield, Stallwood, Hardcastle, Gilmour, Cunningham, Walsh, Moroney, Slowe, Bound, Dobson, Sutcliffe, Twibill, Rudge, McGinnis, Myers, Forsell, Welsby
Fiso, Gilbert, Hireme, Campbell, Te Kana, Mariu, Peters, Arnopp-Scanlan, Woodman, Pereira, Keremete, Pereira, Peters, Webber, Maipi, Hemara, Hal