Rugby World Cup: How MPs reacted following Black Ferns triumph

Political figures on both sides of the aisle are reacting with pride and joy following the Black Ferns' second straight Rugby World Cup title, beating England 34-31 in front of a sold-out Eden Park on Saturday night. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was unable to be at the final as she was travelling to the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, but the crew onboard the New Zealand Defence Force aircraft were providing her with updates throughout the flight.

"When we boarded the NZDF plane to head to the East Asia Summit this afternoon, I asked the crew whether they were expecting any updates on the Black Ferns game while we were mid-air," Ardern said on Instagram. 

"Not only did they update us on the score, we got a run down on injuries."

Fortunately, the Prime Minister was able to see the Black Ferns secure the World Cup for the sixth time after touching down in Cambodia. 

"We landed with enough time to catch the closing 20 mins… and I'm so glad we did. There are no words for that game, just like there's almost no words for the Black Ferns. But for now, I'm going to go with 'legends'," Ardern said. 

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson also couldn't hide his delight at the team's triumph, taking to social media to declare he was "so proud" of the Black Ferns following their victory. 

"What an incredible team the @blackferns are. Brilliant, humble, gutsy. And what a tournament. Thank you Aotearoa for getting behind it," Robertson wrote on Instagram. 

Minister of Justice Kiri Allan also weighed in on the win, sharing a photo to Instagram with retiring halfback Kendra Cocksedge holding the World Cup trophy.

"Absolute scenes last night," she captioned the snap. 

"These past two weeks have seen some of the best rugby we could have watched, nail-biting score lines, running game and clearly just an epic culture amongst our @blackferns.

"I just want to acknowledge these athletes for giving it their absolute all, and showing the world Women's Rugby is an elite sport worthy of all the support it can get. Our kids have a tonne of SHEROS they are looking up to, jostling over who gets to be Ruahei, Ruby, Portia or Luka. How cool is that."

Allan also gave a "special shout out" to Cocksedge, who played her 68th and final test match for Aotearoa during Saturday's final.  

"Who knew she loves Celine Dion? But hey, whatever it takes to get this machine pumping, and pump away for so many years she has," Allan said.

"Thanks for all you've done for the game, mate - but I've got a feeling you're going to go on and do a heck of a lot more in other places for this epic game." 

Minister of Foreign Affairs Carmel Sepuloni also shared her joy following the victory, taking to Instagram to congratulate the team.  

And it wasn't just Labour MPs basking in the win, with National Party leader Christopher Luxon, who attended the final with his wife, hailing the match as "a way to make New Zealand proud".

"For the 6th time the Black Ferns are champions of the world!" Luxon said.

Luxon's deputy Nicola Willis said she was a "bit teary" following the victory, noting that the World Cup has changed the landscape of women's sports. 

"Bit teary watching a group of young girls give a haka on their way out of Eden Park tonight. In their world it's women who win the World Cup, play fast and free and wow the sell-out crowd," Willis wrote on Twitter. 

"Rugby is forever changed. Thank you to the Black Ferns. You gave New Zealand magic tonight." 

ACT leader David Seymour was equally as thrilled: "What a Game! What a win. Congrats to the Black Ferns. You've done NZ proud [sic]."

Greens co-leader Marama Davidson also took to Instagram to applaud the Black Ferns, writing: "Wā poi forever. #NgāMamaku you legends!!! #BlackFerns World Champs! Wāhine Toa!" 

An emotional and overjoyed Black Ferns captain Ruahei Demant hoped her side had made New Zealand proud following their World Cup triumph. 

"We're not used to so many fans but we hope we've made our country proud," she said in a post-game interview. 

"We hope that we've inspired the next generation of Black Ferns and All Blacks stars here in Aotearoa."