Connect with us

Rugby Union

New Zealand 34 England 31: Heartache for Red Roses as they lose thrilling rugby world cup final after Thompson sent off

WING Lydia Thompson was sensationally red-carded as England’s 14 Red Roses wilted at the death in the World Cup final.

Harlequins hooker Amy Cokayne grabbed a hat-trick but Simon Middleton’s side could not cope a player down in the end.

The Black Ferns won a dramatic encounter when they stole a lineout on the final whistle
Lydia Thompson was sent off early doors as she left a New Zealand winger dazed
Hooker Amy Cokayne scored a vital hat-trick to keep the Red Roses in front for most of the game

Kiwi sub Ayesha Leti-l’iga scored the gamebreaker with nine minutes but England had a chance to win but botched a line out with time up.

Thompson was sent off for a head-on-head challenge on opposite number Portia Woodman after just 18 minutes.

Referee Hollie Davidson had no option but to send Worcester’s Thompson on the long walk to the dressing room and England’s game plan looked up in smoke.

England had come into this game on the back of 30 successive wins,    and had not been beaten since July 2019 but crucially had not beaten New Zealand in four finals, you can make that five.

As an advert for rugby, let alone women’s rugby, this was right out of the top drawer staged in front of a 40,000 sell-out crowd at Auckland’s Eden Park.

Scrum-half Leanne Infante pulled out with an ankle injury an hour before kick-off with Harlequins Lucy Packer coming in. And that was the just the start of the trouble for Simon Middleton’s side.

England had faced down the haka with the entire match day squad spread on halfway from touch line to touch line.

And within three minutes they had used both sides of the pitch to conjure the opening score for full-back for full-back Ellie Kildunne.


Wing Abby Dow was snuffed out on the left, England span the ball back to the right and Emily Scarratt’s pass put Kildunne over on the right.

Then in the 13th minute England went back to Plan A bullying the hosts with a driving maul from a line out and Cokayne crashed over to put the Black Ferns on the ropes.

Then came Thompson’s red and the Kiwis capitalised with a driving train of their own a minute later and England were the rattled ones.

But flanker Marlie Packer, one of four heroines from the 2014 win in the 23, went over from another drive before Woodman’s replacement Leti-l’iga hit back.

Leti-l’iga went over where Thompson would have been defending but England rallied yet again swapping tries with Kiwis to go in 26-19 at the break.

But a length of the field job from New Zealand with centre Stacey Fluhler starting and finishing it left to cut it the lead to two points.

And when replacement Krystal Murray went over, again on the left, New Zealand had the lead but Cokayne grabbed it back with her third with yet another rumble.

In the 65th minute, it was 14 players each when Kiwi replacement Kennedy Simon was yellow-carded for a high shot on Dow. But then came the Kiwi’s sixth try and England’s last-ditch attempt to win it but that is five out of five for the Black Ferns against England.


New Zealand: Tries: Ponsonby, Leti-l’iga (2), Rule, Fluhler, Murray; Cons: Holmes (2)

England: Tries: Kildunne, Cokayne (3), Packer: Cons: Scarratt (3)

Click to comment

Leave a Reply


Must See


More in Rugby Union