Live updates: Rugby World Cup final - Black Ferns v England at Auckland's Eden Park

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NZ 34 England 31 

NZ - Ponsonby, Rule, Fluhler, Murray & Leti-I'iga 2 tries; Holmes 2 conversions

England - Kildunne, Packer & Cokayne 3 tries; Scarratt 3 conversions

Second half

40th minute - Maul collapses and England have another penalty advantage. Forwards keep the ball and they go back for the penalty and another lineout.

Ferns contest the throw and win the ball. Time is up and they win the scrum... that's the game and the Black Ferns have won!

39th minute - Scarratt kicks to the corner and Ferns must produce a stop here with 90 seconds left...

38th minute - Lineout maul collapses and England have another penalty advantage. They play on and rumble towards the 22, but they come back for the penalty.

37th minute - Simon has returned to the field. Demant taps and tries to take England by surprise, but the Roses win a penalty on halfway.

England kick to the 22 and here comes that lineout.

36th minute - England have penalty advantage on halfway, but drive forwards. They lose the advantage and Ferns win a penalty in midfield.

35th minute - Ferns contest the lineout and steal the throw. They have the ball and penalty advantage, but stream towards halfway. Tubic kicks, Kildunne gathers and Tui smashes her in a tackle.

34th minute - England kick off and Demant makes a halfbreak, finding Bremner in support. Tubic clears towards halfway.

31st minute - TRY to Leti-I'iga

TMO reverses the call, NZ throw to the attacking lineout and charge towards the 22. Fitzpatrick puts a kick to the corner, Fluher gathers and finds Leti-I'iga to dive over in the corner.

New Zealand have the lead with fulltime now in sight... Fluhler stays down and limps off to a standing ovation. Hazel Tubic comes on, as HOlmes lines up the sideline conversion.

Her kick stays left again, NZ 34-31

30th minute - England win their lineout, but Harrison kicks out on the full. Demant has a touch on the kick, so England have the throw inside NZ half.

29th minute - Ferns have retreated back into their half and Holmes kicks ahead for Leti-I'iga. The ball dribbles into touch inside the England half.

28th minute - Ngan-Woo wins the lineout and Cocksedge kicks into the 22. Kildunne tries to run it out and Harrison kicks to halfway, but Holmes runs it back.

27th minute - Demant finds touch for a lineout on halfway.

26th minute - England win the lineout and the maul advances. Ferns push back and England must release the ball.

NZ win a penalty in midfield...

25th minute - Off the scrum, Cocksedge finds Leti-I'iga cutting infield. Demant kicks into the 22, Dow threatens to break out of her 22, but she's brought down by Simon with head contact.

The tackle is reviewed... Simon sees yellow, so NZ are down to 14 for the next 10 minutes. Dow looks groggy, but she stays.

24th minute - England win the lineout and maul to halfway, but a pass is spilled and Ferns will have the scrum. Roos leaves, Ngan-Woo arrives.

23rd minute - Connor drives towards the line, but England are over the breakdown and win a penalty just metres from her goal-line. Connor stays down.

Taumata replaces Rule in the Ferns front row. Connor is back on her feet.

22nd minute - Another good Ferns scrum, Demant challenges the midfield defence and Rule rumbles off her towards the posts.

21st minute - Harrison kicks for touch, but the ball has been taken back into the 22 and the Ferns will have the attacking lineout. Throw goes long and England knock on at the back.

20th minute - Good scrum from NZ and Cocksedge kicks along the ground. Kildunne gathers the rolling ball, but the Ferns hold her up and drive her back into the 22.

19th minute - Big push from England and they win a penalty. They'll just work the sideline here.

Roos contests this lineout, but England win it and maul over halfway. The Ferns forwards have them wrapped up and win the turnover.

18th minute - England win a loose ball and clear, Holmes tries to run it back, but the ball spills forwards again. The Roses have a scrum feed just outside their 22.

17th minute - The ball comes loose, but Ferns have it back and Tui tries to find a way through. The ball shifts left, where Alana Bremner crosses the 22.

16th minute - Holmes kicks off and Tui taps it back for the Ferns. They charge to the England 22.

14th minute - TRY to Cokayne

England win the lineout and rumble to the line, where the hooker has her hattrick - that simple. Scarratt puts her conversion in front of the posts, ENG 31-29

13th minute - Murray collapses and England get a penalty. They kick to the corner and here comes that maul again...

12th minute - England get a free-kick at the scrum, but they want another scrum. 

11th minute - England kick off and Simon brings the ball outside the NZ 22, but Bremner drops a pass in midfield. Big opportunity for England at the scrum.

Ninth minute - TRY to Murray

Roos wins the lineout, but the maul goes to ground. Ferns forwards go one-off for a couple of phases, before the ball goes to the backs and then back to the corner, where Murray plunges over in the corner.

New Zealand have the lead and Simon replaces McMenamin. Holmes has another wide conversion and just hooks it left again, NZ 29-26

Eighth minute - England put a little kick over the defence, but Fluhler gathers and Cocksedge rolls a kick into touch for a 50-22. NZ throw to the attacking lineout.

Seventh minute - The new front-rowers are straight into a scrum on halfway, England feed, and they push England back. The Roses rumble over halfway.

Sixth minute - England win the lineout and Harrison is trapped with the ball. England take the ball into second phase and Skarratt kicks deep.

Ferns shift left, but Fluhler can't gather a long pass on halfway. Connor and Murray replaced Love and Ponsonby in the Ferns front row.

Fifth minute - England feed a scrum on halfway and free the ball to their backs, but Harrison knocks on. Cocksedge kicks into England half and the ball bounces into touch outside the 22.

Third minute - England kick off again and McMenamin brings the ball over the 22. Ferns keep the ball in hand, as they charge to halfway, where Roos is wrapped up and can't release the ball.

First minute - Captain Sarah Hunter is replaced by Poppy Cleall for England and they kick off for the second half.

TRY to Fluhler

Ferns secure the kickoff and spread the ball left, where Fluhler maekes the initial break, finds Holmes in support and then stays available for the final pass to score. Holmes can level the scores here, but leaves her conversion left, ENG 26-24


39th minute - TRY to Rule

Bremner wins the lineout and they rumble towards the tryline. Rule peels off the back to score and Holmes' conversion stays right, ENG 26-19

And that's halftime. Phew, time to catch our breathe.

38th minute - Demant is hit hard in a tackle, but Ferns retain the ball and Fluhler dashes over halfway. NZ keeping the ball in hand and Leti-I'iga has a run down the left.

Penalty to NZ on the England 22, they look to the corner...

37th minute - Bremner wins the defensive lineout and NZ try to run from their goal-line. The ball goes lose in midfield, but they recover it and eventually run out of the 22.

36th minute - Ferns take a tap, but Fitzpatrick spills the ball in a tackle and England kick to the corner. Not their throw-in, but still danger...

35th minute - England have a free-kick from the scrum and they tap. Packer takes the ball forward, but NZ have a penalty in midfield from the breakdown.

34th minute - Packer secures the kickoff and England kick deep to Leti-I'iga, who fumbles the ball forward, giving away field position.

32nd minute - TRY to Cokayne

Ward wins the lienout and the maul reaches the tryline. Cokayne has her second try and Scarratt converts from just left of the posts, ENG 26-14

31st minute - England kick to the corner and here comes another try.

30th minute - England maul forward and have penalty advantage, but they're still going.

England shift right and a long pass is plucked out of the air by HOlmes, who sprints the length of the field... totally unaware that the ref has called them back for the penalty.

29th minute - Scrum collapses, but McMenamin clears from the base and NZ run out of their 22. Holmes' kick finds touch, but England are still on attack.

28th minute - The ball spills out the side of the ruck and McMenamin charges away, but they're called back. Double knockon, England first, so NZ have a defensive scrum.

Time off for an England injury... Zoe Aldcroft walks off for a head assessment.

27th minute - Leti-I'iga secures the kickoff and Roos drives over the 22, but NZ spill a pass and England have another attacking lineout. NZ slow the maul initially, but it accelerates forward and Burn peels off.

24th minute - TRY to Leti-I'iga

England knock on the kickoff and then regather from an offside position, so penalty to the Ferns and Demant kicks to the corner.

Bremner wins the lineout and rumble towards the tryline. They're told to use it and a long pass from Demant frees Leti-I'iga, who stands up her marker to dive across.

Holmes slots her sideline conversion, ENG 19-14

21st minute - TRY to Packer

England win the lineout and maul to the tryline, where Packer falls over to score. There's a clear warning you can't concede a lineout near the 22 and expect to stop this English pack.

Scarratt hits the right upright with her conversion, ENG 19-7

20th minute - Roos spills the kickoff into touch and England have an attacking lineout inside the NZ 22.

19th minute - TRY to Ponsonby

Bremner wins the lineout and the NZ maul is unstoppable, with the hooker scoring her first try for the Ferns. Holmes' conversion sneaks inside the right upright, ENG 14-7

18th minute - Replays show Woodman is taken out by a head-on-head tackle and England could be in trouble here. Thompson is shown a red card and her team will be down to 14 players for the rest of the contest.

Leti-I'iga comes on for Woodman, who is being carted off. Demant kicks to the corner...

17th minute - When the ball goes right, Tui tries to step through, McMenamin and Roos charge towards the line, but England win the ruck and clear towards halfway. Woodman is down injured.

16th minute - NZ feed to the first scrum of the night. Big push from England, but Cocksedge finds Tui running off the scrum. The ball goes left and England deflect Demant's pass.

15th minute - NZ must be the next to score, as HOlmes kicks off and the bounce eludes England. Fluhler charges down a clearing kick and the Ferns go on attack.

13th minute - TRY to Cokayne

England win the lineout and their maul rolls towards the tryline. The hooker is at the back and simply falls over the line to score and Scarratt converts, ENG 14-0

12th minute - England find touch inside NZ half and win the lineout. Kildunne is stopped in midfield by Fluhler, but NZ are penalised again, as Ponsonby dives through the breakdown.

England kick to the corner...

11th minute - Woodman finds Hirini on halfway and McMenamin carries forward, but the Ferns are penalised at the breakdown.

10th minute - Demant stabs ahead for Tui again, but England have it covered and kick towards the goal-line. They have NZ traped inside the 22, but Woodman bursts clear.

Ninth minute - England win the lineout and kick into NZ half, but Woodman breaks deep into England territory. The Roses win the ball and kick back towards the NZ 22.

Eighth minute - England's dropout clears halfway and the Ferns try to run out of their half. Demant kicks on an angle for Tui, but the bounce eludes everyone and Fluhler eventually hacks into touch.

Seventh minute - Holmes is kicking into a slight breeze and just leaves this left of the posts. Good early sighter, though.

Sixth minute - Hirini makes metres down the left and Ferns win a penalty on the England 10 at the breakdown. Holmes will take a kick at goal.

Fifth minute - Pinpoint kickoff from Holmes and Tui wins the ball for NZ. They claim a lineout and spin the ball to midfield.

Third minute - TRY to Kildunne

England already showing they can run the ball and when they shift right, Kildunne is on the end of the line to open the scoring. Scarratt slots the sideline conversion, ENG 7-0

Second minute - Ferns try to run from their own 22, but Fitzpatrick stumbles and eventually Demant has to kick to touch. England win the lineout and shift left.

First minute - Scotland's Holle Davidson will referee the big game and Renee Holmes will kick off for NZ. Thompson secures the ball and set up the first ruck, with Harrison clearing their half.

England steal the ball of NZ and Harrison kicks to the goal-line, where Holmes gathers and runs clear.

7:24pm - The teams are filing out onto Eden Park, with the stands packed. They face the national anthems... and then the Black Ferns haka.

The England team is lined out across the full width of the field to face the challenge, led by Stacey Fluhler.

The scene is set.

7:01pm - After some iffy weather on Friday and some dodgy forecasts, Auckland has turned on a brilliant night for rugby, with no rain on the horizon.

The French have shown their full ability with a comprehensive 36-0 victory over Canada for the bronze medal, with first-five Caroline Drouin - the villain of their semi-final defeat to New Zealand - to the fore.


Kia ora, good evening and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and England at Auckland's Eden Park.

About 12 months ago, with the NZ women reeling from their disastrous northern hemisphere tour - including record defeats to England and France - very few would have put money on this match-up at the World Cup final.

The Black Ferns had lost two tests to the French by 25 and 22 points, after being dispatched by the 'Red Roses' to the tune of 31 and 41 points.

Over two years of COVID-19 isolation, the reigning world champions had slipped behind their closest rivals in terms of performance on the field and professionalism off it.

Arriving home, their team culture was also subjected to a thorough examination, with accusations of favouritism, ghosting and body-shaming levelled at team management, after veteran hooker Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate revealed she had suffered a mental health breakdown during the tour.   

Under pressure, World Cup-winning coach Glenn Moore stood down from his position, replaced by 'Professor' Wayne Smith, who had previously helped mastermind two World Cup triumphs for the All Blacks.

Team culture was restructured under Olympic champion Black Ferns Sevens coach Allan Bunting and first-five Ruahei Demant named captain, later joined by loose forward Kennedy Simon.

While all this took place, England were relentlessly building a formidable unbeaten run that now extends to 30 games, since their last loss to New Zealand at San Diego in 2019 - their only lapse since their World Cup defeat to the same opponents two years before at Belfast.

The English have looked formidable throughout this tournament, accounting for France in poolplay and holding off a surprising challenge from Canada in last week's semis.

England celebrate their semi-final win over Canada
England celebrate their semi-final win over Canada. Photo credit: Photosport

The Black Ferns have had some anxious moments along the way, trailling by 17 points early in their opener against Australia and exposed among the forwards by Wales the following week.

But they set the record straight against the Welsh in their quarter-final and have played an exciting brand of rugby that has drawn their home fans behind them, with a soldout crowd of more than 40,000 expected at Eden Park for the final.

The fixture will send veteran halfback Kendra Cocksedge into retirement, after a career that saw her named NZ Rugby Player of the Year - male or female - in 2018. This is her fourth World Cup and her third final, after the Ferns to victory in 2010 and 2017.

TAB Odds: England $1.55, NZ $2.50, draw $18

Black Ferns: 1-Phillipa Love, 2-Georgia Ponsonby, 3-Amy Rule, 4-Maiakawanakaulani Roos, 5-Chelsea Bremner, 6-Alana Bremner, 7-Sarah Hirini, 8-Charmaine McMenamin, 9-Kendra Cocksedge, 10-Ruahei Demant (cc), 11-Portia Woodman, 12-Theresa Fitzpatrick, 13-Stacey Fluhler, 14-Ruby Tui, 15-Renee Holmes

Reserves: 16-Luka Connor, 17-Krystal Murray, 18-Santo Taumata, 19-Joanah Ngan-Woo, 20-Kennedy Simon (cc), 21-Ariana Bayler, 22-Hazel Tubic, 23-Ayesha Leti-I'iga

England: 1-Vickii Cornborough, 2-Amy Cokayne, 3-Sarah Bern, 4-Zoe Aldcroft, 5-Abbie Ward, 6-Alex Matthews, 7-Marlie Packer, 8-Sarah Hunter (captain), 9-Leanne Infante, 10-Zoe Harrison, 11-Abby Dow, 12-Holly Aitchison,13-Emily Scarratt, 14-Lydia Thompson, 15-Ellie Kildunne

Reserves: 16-Lark Davies, 17-Maud Muir, 18-Shaunagh Brown, 19-Cath O'Donnell, 20-Poppy Cleall, 21-Sadia Kabeya, 22-Claudia MacDonald, 23-Tatyana Heard


Benefits of Black Ferns success felt far beyond packed World Cup stadiums

By Lucy Thomson

On the eve of the Rugby World Cup final, one Black Ferns star admits the nerves haven't set in just yet.

The team are beyond excited to play in front of a soldout crowd at Auckland's Eden Park on Saturday night, with the game expected to set another new TV viewership record and hype around the women's game living on beyond the final whistle.

If support at this Rugby World Cup is anything to go by, New Zealanders have fallen in love with the Black Ferns and women's rugby.

"To have a group of kids come out to specifically see the Black Ferns is really unreal," admitted star winger Portia Woodman.

Unreal, but the nerves aren't creeping in just yet.

"This is our last chance to put our best foot forward," said powerhouse winger Aeyesha Leti-I'iga. "I know the girls are all fizzing as well, so it's all excitement.

"I'm not too sure about nerves, but they might kick in tomorrow."

Even Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is struggling to contain her excitment. 

"Go and see them, watch the game in person," she said. "Let's break the record again for filling Eden Park and if you can't get a ticket, watch them on the TV.

"Prove that these are athletes that deserve sponsorship, that deserve to be treated in the same way our All Blacks are, because they are damn fine sportspeople." 

Black Ferns fans pack Eden Park
Black Ferns fans pack Eden Park. Photo credit: Photosport

The tournament has already reached viewership numbers, once never thought possible and organisers expect to kick those into touch tomorrow night.

"We haven't seen a lot of 15s rugby on mainstream TV ever, so the fact it's been on every single weekend and the Black Ferns performance has been incredible, New Zealanders have really connected with that," said tournament director Michell Hooper.

According to Warner Bros Discovery, just over 900-thousand people tuned into watch coverage of the Black Ferns' semi-final last weekend and it's hoped the final will smash through the million-viewer mark on TV.

Theresa Fitzpatrick poses with fans during the World Cup. Photo credit: Photosport

Eden Park will be packed, with a sellout crowd of 40,000 packing the stands. Among them will be a very proud Rob Jones, who coached three players on the field. Black Ferns Sarah Hirini and Georgia Ponsonby, and England prop Amy Cokayne all played under him at Feilding High School.

"They definitely had that spark, they definietly had that world ethic, all three of them," said Jones. "It's a very special time for the school obviously and the families." 

The tournament's already proved a commercial success for New Zealand, with Auckland on track to surpass the target of 27,000 visitor nights and $3.6 million in GDP return.

"That doesn't take into consideration all of the social benefits that major events provide, the global exposure, so it really is more than just the economic benefits as well," said Tātaki Auckland Unlimited head of major events Chris Simpson.

Overall, the tournament has underwritten a $2.3 million dollar. That was always expected and according to organisers, it's a small price to pay for increased exposure of the women's game.

"The success of the tournament's been monumental," said Hooper. "It's an investment in the growth of women's rugby and that investment will pay dividends in the future."

Former Black Ferns prop Regina Sheck, who was part of the first World Cup-winning side in 1998, says it's already an entirely different game.

"The only people that really new about women's rugby back then were our family and friends, and the clubs that we played for," she said.

This tournament will likely set a new benchmark.

"We can't let this go backwards from tomorrow night," said Sheck. "Win or lose, we can't let it go back, because that momentum is there for women's rugby."

This Rugby World Cup has certainly left a lasting impression and a new precedent women's sport.

Catch the Rugby World Cup live on Spark Sport or free-to-air on Three