Rugby: Black Ferns swept by England

By Kris Shannon

The New Zealand women's rugby side followed in the footsteps of the men this morning, being beaten 32-23 by England as the hosts swept the three-match series.

Having won the first two tests 16-13 and 18-7, England capped their second series win in as many years over the world champion Black Ferns with a testing triumph at Twickenham.

Coming just three hours after the All Blacks were defeated on the same field, the Black Ferns quickly fell behind and couldn't prevent the English women from completing a memorable double.

Tries from winger Katherine Merchant and fullback Emily Scarratt staked the home side to an early 12-0 lead, before the tourists reduced the deficit after lock Rawina Everitt found herself on the end of a neat backline move.

But Merchant soon struck again, and once prop Roz Crowley dotted down England led by 14. New Zealand were given a lifeline when England flanker Heather Fisher was sent to the sin bin, and the Black Ferns made the most of their numerical edge when Selica Winiata crossed the line to leave her side trailing 24-15 at halftime.

After the break it was England's turn to take advantage of a yellow card, with centre Jo Watmore scoring after Aroha Savage was yellow-carded.

It was England's fifth try and gave them a lead they wouldn't cede, despite Black Ferns first five-eighth Kendra Cocksedge managing a late consolation try.

England 32 (Katherine Merchant 2, Emily Scarratt, Rosemarie Crowley, Joanne Watmore tries; Scarratt 2 cons, pen)

New Zealand 23 (Rawina Everitt, Selica Winiata, Kendra Cocksedge tries; Kelly Brazier con, 2 pens)

HT: 24-15.

- APNZ

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