Live updates: Rugby World Cup semi-final - New Zealand v France at Auckland's Eden Park

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Black Ferns 25     France 24


Un. Real.

The Black Ferns are through to next week's final - but what a game!

Congratulations to both teams, it's a shame this had to end.

Comiserations to France, they've never reached a World Cup final, and will have to settle for another chance at third.

I'm still struggling to catch my breath after that.

What a week we're in for!


Seconds left in this! Simon takes the loose ball!

The Black Ferns run the clock down - and Cocksedge kicks into touch!

The Black Ferns have won - just!!!

80 mins

France will have a penalty, and Hermet points to the posts.

Drouin will kick to take the lead in the last minute.

But she's missed!

79 mins - YELLOW CARD NZ

Hang on. The TMO is checking for potential foul play by the Black Ferns. 

It's the Taumata hit on Sochat. It looks like a shoulder to head situation like the last one.

This could be bad. This would be a very kickable penalty.

Yep, it's yellow. The Black Ferns will finish with 14.

79 mins

Demant's kick just finds touch for a lineout. A couple of minutes left on the yellow card.

Connor throws, and Roos wins it. The Black Ferns go to Simon, and back to Murray, then Bremner.

But France have pinched it! Fluhler gets up and stops the overlap, as France go to Grisez. 

France go to their left and get over halfway through Marine Menager. They go back to the right, and Grisez - but Fluhler's there again!

Taumata smashes Sochat but France break! Drouin runs into the 22, but offloads straight back to the Black Ferns!

It's chaos out there, so Murray - the prop - kicks into touch.

76 mins

France are in kicking distance now. Sochat throws and Escudero wins it. They drive and Sochat has it at the back.

Bourdon runs off the back, but straight into the Black Ferns' pack. Escudero runs, and Fitzpatrick smashes her - and wins a penalty!!!


75 mins

Drouin finds touch after the penalty. France lineout. The Black Ferns are trying to slow it down.

Sochat throws, and Mayans wins it. France have advantage as the Black Ferns collapse the maul.

The ball is tackled out, so France take another lineout.

74 mins

Connor throws, and Alanah Bremner wins it. The Black Fernsgo to the left through Leti-I'iga.

They go back infield and have advantage, as Demant kicks over the top. France win it, but Fluhler wins a penalty, and Cocksedge goes quickly!

France win it back through as Drouin kicks it to Leti-I'iga, who offloads to Tui!

Tui runs, but France turns it over again as Hermet wins a penalty.

72 mins

Demant finds touch for a lineout. Murray throws, but it's not straight and France steal it.

France go wide to their left, but Woodman and Fitzpatrick come across to send Queyroi into touch! Black Ferns lineout!


We're just checking a tackle for France's N'Diaye. And that's why.

Replays show a shoulder to the head of Taumata. This will be a card, what colour?


Credit to Cocksedge there, she pointed out the contact to the ref.

France are down to 14.

70 mins

Break in play, another French player is down hurt. Great chance for both sides to catch their breath. It's Lindelauf that's hurt, and she leaves the field in tears as Deshaye replaces her.

Connor throws, and Chelsea Bremner wins it for the Black Ferns.

Simon goes wide to Leti-I'iga, before the ball goes out off France for another lineout.

68 mins

Demant kicks off again, but Drouin sends it back, straight to Tui.

Hirini is stopped,  as the Black Ferns go to their left. Fitzpatrick's offload goes to ground as Murray tidies up.

Taumata has a go, before Demant loses it.

Escudero kicks through the line, but the ball goes into touch.

Black Ferns lineout in their own half.

66 mins - TRY FRANCE

Sochat throws, Escudero wins it and France drive. Hermet runs and takes France closer - and wins advantage.

Romane Menager takes the ball, and she can't be stopped! Menager barges over for her second!

Drouin converts - and it's a one-point game!

NZ 25 FRA 24

65 mins

France need a statement here, and they've got it as Romane Menager wins a penalty.

Fluhler stays down for the Black Ferns, but it looks like cramp. Menager then helps her out.

Great to see. 

France lineout.

64 mins - PENALTY NZ

Cocksedge and Demant want the points, this'll take it beyond a converted try.

Demant lines it up, right in front. And the co-captain won't miss from there!

NZ 25 FRA 17

62 mins

That's a scrum sorry. Knock on before it went into touch. Bourdon feeds, but the Black Ferns win a penalty!

Cocksedge goes quickly, and goes wide to the right! Woodman has a go, before the Black Ferns go infield. 

Advantage Black Ferns. Demant goes close, and then goes wide to Leti-I'iga! She's tackled, so we go back for the penalty! 

The Black Ferns are running France off the park now.

60 mins

France's turn to fight back. Demant tries to kick over the top for Leti-I'iga - but there's just too much on it.

France lineout.

58 mins - TRY NZ

Right then, Demant finds touch. Black Ferns lineout. Connor throws, and Chelsea Bremner wins it at the back! 

The Black Ferns drive, and go inside the 22. Connor has it and goes upfield. Roos juggles, but gets to the line!

The Black Ferns are close - and Fitzpatrick gets the ball and holds off three defenders to score!

The Black Ferns take the lead! 

Demant to convert from right in front - and nails it!

NZ 22 FRA 17

56 mins

Changes for the Black Ferns. Ayesha Leti-I'iga comes on for Holmes. Tui goes back to fullback.

Hang on a second. The last penalty is reversed! Off the ball play on Ferer against Rule!

The Black Ferns will have a lineout!

56 mins

Connor throws, and it's over the top, but France knock on trying to gather. Advantage Black Ferns.

Cocksedge kicks over the top, but the bounce just evades Demant running on to it.

France go wide to Grisez, but Woodman tackles as the ball is lost behind her. Cocksedge kicks through the line, but Boulard kicks it straight back to Woodman.

France turn it over, and Fall breaks down the right! She's penalised for not releasing, so Cocksedge takes it quickly and kicks over the top, but France get it right back.

Drouin kicks it straight to Demant, who finds Woodman, who's tackled.

Fitzpatrick nearly slips out of a tackle, before Vernier gives away a penalty.

The Black Ferns go quickly again through Cocksedge and Fluhler! Bremner and Connor both go, but France turn it over now!


52 mins

Break in play, one of the French players stays down. Cocksedge has some words in the Black Ferns' huddle.

We're good to continue. Demant finds touch for a lineout.

52 mins

Sochat throws, but Roos wins it! The Black Ferns run it again.

Hirini is smashed in the tackle, but keeps hold of it. France have turned it over though.  

The ball comes loose in the tackle, but knock-on isn't called - so the Black Ferns win the turnover and the penalty. 

51 mins

Changes for the Black Ferns. Ponsonby and Love off. Connor and Murray on.

France restart, and the Black Ferns build again. Holmes kicks through again, but Boulard reads it this time.

Boulard kicks through, and it's a 50-22!

49 mins

Penalty in a great position after that Ponsonby turnover, and Demant points for the posts.

Holmes steps up to take it, this would give the Black Ferns the lead.

Holmes lines it up, but she pushes it left! 

48 mins

Simon makes a turnover inside the Black Ferns half, and starts a counter attack!

They go wide to Fluhler and Woodman, and they're inside France's half! Fluhler and Woodman combine on the left again, before the Black Ferns go right.

Ponsonby hits the line, but Demant's pass bounces - and Drouin claims it!

Ponsonby gets over the ball though - and she's won the turnover!

46 mins - TRY NZ

Bourdon feeds the scrum, and goes to Grisez at first receiver. Bourdon box kicks, and Woodman takes it on the front foot.

The Black Ferns go to the backs, and Holmes kicks through the line.

Tui and Holmes are chasing, and the ball is bundled back in goal as Boulard fumbles. Tui chases it - and she grounds it! The Black Ferns score first to open the second half!

Quick check with the TMO, but that's fine. Try confirmed.

Holmes lines up the kick to equalise, but she pushes it to the left! The Black Ferns trail by two!

NZ 15 FRA 17

43 mins

Ponsonby throws, but Ferer steals it! The ball's loose, and Ponsonby gives away a penalty trying to win it back.

France scrum.

42 mins

Fluhler goes up, but can't grab the kickoff. France hold it, before Bourdon goes to the air.

Fluhler fumbles, but NZ keep the ball. The Black Ferns go wide to Holmes, who goes back inside.

Simon has a go, but the ball is turned over by Escuerdo. Bourdon kicks, but it's straight into touch.

Black Ferns lineout.

41 mins

Holmes kicks off, and we're away in the second!


We're back after the break. The Black Ferns have made one change. 

Co-captain Kennedy Simon is on, Liana Mikaele-Tu'u is off.


A huge half. Both sides have looked excellent, but France have taken their chances.

We'll be back shortly for the second 40, but don't go anywhere, because this is going to be a thriller!


Sochat throws, and Ferer wins it. France go for the lineout drive, Sochat has it at the back.

Bourdon goes, and looks for Merine Menager inside her. The Black Ferns defend though.

Drouin is forced to play halfback, as Deshaye runs at the line. France are forced to their right, as Hermet runs.

Deshaye has another go, France are inisde the 5m line. Romane Menager goes close! They find Vernier - and she scores!

The Black Ferns concede right on halftime! Can Drouin add the extras?

She can. That's halftime.

NZ 10 FRA 17

38 mins

Drouin kicks off, and Hirini wins it. France have turned it over though, and won a penalty.

Drouin finds the corner, France don't want the points.

37 mins - TRY NZ

Here we go! Scrum, right in front of the posts. The backline is split.

Short arm penalty against France's front row. Cocksedge goes quickly! She goes left to Demant - who throws a cutout pass to Fluhler out on the wing!

Fluhler beats the defenders, and runs in to score for the Black Ferns! Holmes lines up the conversion from the left touchline.

And she strikes it perfectly! We are all square!

NZ 10 FRA 10

34 mins

Drouin to take the dropout - but she hits it straight into touch! Demant calls for the 5m scrum. The Black Ferns have been knocking on the door, how long til they bash it down?

34 mins

Black Ferns scrum. Cocksedge feeds, and goes to Tui off the back. 

Mikaele-Tu'u goes, but she's tackled. Roos picks and goes - and she surges into the in-goal!

France hold her up though, so that's another dropout.

Roos has been absolutely huge so far tonight.

32 mins

Drouin kicks off, and the Black Ferns look to use it. The front row all have a crack, before they go wide to Fitzpatrick and Fluhler.

Fluher loses the ball in the tackle, but it goes backwards as Woodman has a run. 

Demant runs and puts Roos into a gap! The Black Ferns are on the front foot now!

Tui has a go, and she's lifted in the tackle again. The Black Ferns have advantage.

Chelsea Bremner goes forward, as Rule has a go.

Demant puts Fitzpatrick through, she offloads looking for Tui, but it bounces into touch.

We'll go back for the penalty though.

30 mins - PENALTY NZ

Holmes will take the shot, relatively straight forward. Just outside the 22, from in front.

Holmes lines it up, and smacks it down the middle.

The Black Ferns are on the board!

NZ 3 FRA 10

29 mins

Demant finds touch for the lineout. Tui is also back on her feet.

Ponsonby throws, and Roos wins it as the Black Ferns drive. Ponsonby and Cocksedge wait at the back, before the Black Ferns use it.

Demant and Fitzpatrick combine, but the Black Ferns have advantage - and a penalty.

This time Demant wants the points. 

27 mins

Ponsonby throws, but Ferer steals it! Bourdon box kicks, but Woodman wins it in the air.

They go wide as Fluhler and Tui combine on the right. Tui is dumped by Vernier - and she's hurt!

Penalty for the Black Ferns. We're going to go upstairs here. 

Vernier has lifted Tui above the horizontal. This should be yellow.

The TMO sees otherwise though, it'll be a penalty, but France are lucky to have 15 on the park here.

26 mins

Big response needed from the Black Ferns, but still plenty of time. 

Holmes kicks off, Boulard wins it in the air. Drouin goes to the air, straight to Demant.

Holmes has a run down the right, before Cocksedge box kicks. Drouin returns fire straigth back to Cocksedge, who finds Demant.

Chelsea Bremner breaks one tackle before she's taken, as Rule picks and goes. Chelsea Bremner goes again, but Bourdon steals it!

Drouin kicks it straight into touch though, so a Black Ferns lineout awaits!

23 mins - TRY FRANCE

Sochat throws, and the Black Ferns don't contest in anticipation of the maul.

Sochat has it at the back, but the Black Ferns defend. Marine Menager has a go, but is tackled short.

Romane Menager has a go from close range - and she's over! France score the first try! 

Drouin to convert from right in front, and does,

NZ 0 FRA 10

21 mins

Lineout just outside the 22. Sochat throws, France win it and drive. Advantage France as well.

They go to the backs as Drouin kicks over the top. Woodman takes it under pressure, so we go back for the penalty.

Drouin finds the corner for a lineout.

20 mins

France lineout. Sochat throws, but it's messy and ends up on France's side.

Hermet has a go on the left flank, as France go back infield.

Bourdon kicks over the top, straight to Holmes.

Holmes kicks back, but it's straight into touch. That's a bad mistake for the Black Ferns.

19 mins

France scrum. But prop Deshaye is down hurt. The referee calls for a break to allow for treatment. She's back on her feet though, and will continue.

Bourdon feeds, and the Black Ferns shove. The ball goes back to Drouin, who clears straight to Tui.

The Black Ferns can run again as Chelsea Bremner is tackled. Demant takes the line on and is tackled, same with Mikaele-Tu'u. Ponsonby picks and goes, but is tackled, Rule does the same.

They go to the backs through Woodman, but the pass out to Fluhler is wayward and goes out for a lineout.

17 mins

Drouin clears, straight to Tui, who feeds Holmes.

Hirini runs forward, as does Mikaele-Tu'u. Chelsea Bremner goes, but Rule knocks on trying to hit the gap!

This is good from the Black Ferns - even if they've not scored yet.

16 mins

Lineout, right in the corner for the Black Ferns. Ponsonby throws, and Roos wins it.

The Black Ferns drive. It goes to Cocksedge, who finds Fitzpatrick, who's tackled.

They're so close! Mikaele-Tu'u goes for the line - and they celebrate!

Held up is the call though! That's a dropout for France.

15 mins

Cocksedge feeds, but the front row goes down and that's a penalty! 

Love the hero there. What do the Black Ferns do? Holmes could kick this, but Demant goes for the lineout!

13 mins

Sochat throws and Hermet wins it. France run, but Ferer loses it in the tackle!

That's a Black Ferns scrum inside France's half!

13 mins

Drouin looks for touch, but it's not out as Holmes keeps it alive!

She finds Cocksedge, who kicks in behind for a lineout inside France's 22.

12 mins

Ponsonby throws. And this time it goes to Chelsea Bremner. 

The Black Ferns run as Tui and Ponsonby both have a go. They go wide to Fluhler, and then back infield through Love. 

France have turned it over again though, and win another penalty. Not releasing the call.

11 mins

Slight delay, Amy Rule has stayed down hurt for the Black Ferns. She's back up though.

Sochat throws and France wins it. France are called for accidental offside though, and that's a penalty for the Black Ferns.

Demant finds touch after a fumble from Marine Menager.

9 mins

Ponsonby throws, and Alana Bremner wins it. Demant tries to slip through, but she's tackled.

Rule has a go, as does Ponsonby. France are all over them though, and win a penalty.

Sochat the hero there. Do France want the points?

Nope, they want another lineout.

8 mins

Holmes kicks off for the Black Ferns. Vernier looks to run, but she's swamped!

France manage to avoid losing the ball, and go wide to Grisez. Drouin has a run, and France go wide to their left. Marine Menager runs down the left, but she's stopped by Tui, who tackles her into touch.

Black Ferns lineout.


France want the points after that. Hermet points to the posts.

Drouin lines it up, slightly away to the left, and she makes no mistake!

NZ 0 FRA 3

6 mins

First lineout. Sochat throws, and Hermet wins it. France look for their driving maul.

Sochat has it at the back, but the Black Ferns hold. France are forced to use it as Bourdon runs off the back. They go to Ferer, as France's forwards use the ball.

They go wide to Marine Menager, but Tui stops her. Drouin throws a dummy and runs at the line, but is tackled. 

They go to the right to Filopon, but she's stopped. France are through 13 phases.

Romane Menager goes at the line, stopped. Bourdon picks and goes, stopped.

France have advantage here. Fall goes for the line now, but she's held up!

We go back for the penalty, but so far so good for the Black Ferns!

3 mins

Bourdon feeds, and France wins a penalty as Rule goes down in the front row.

What do France do? They want the lineout! That was a very kickable penalty.

2 mins

Hirini fields the kick-off, and the Black Ferns will have first use.

And straight away they get a penalty - and Cocksedge takes it quickly! She kicks deep, but Boulard returns fire.

Fumble from Holmes at the back, but Fluhler is there in support. 

Love tries to offload to Chelsea Bremner, but she knocks on.

France scrum.


And we're underway at Eden Park! Drouin kicks off to get us started!


Ayesha Leti-I'iga leads the Black Ferns, as Demant stands at the front.

France stand their ground though.

Eden Park erupts in support, this is going to be a cracker.

Kick-off just seconds away!


Anthems all done. Here comes the Black Ferns' haka.


Both teams are making their way out of the tunnel onto Eden Park.

The captains lead their sides out onto the field; co-captains Ruahei Demant and Kennedy Simon for the Black Ferns, and Gaelle Hermet for France.


Recent reading for the Black Ferns against France isn't great for Kiwis.

The Black Ferns have lost their last four against France, including two tests on last year's end of year tour.

But this team has evolved since then. The team are unbeaten since Wayne Smith's arrival as director of rugby, and are arguably the best attacking team in the world.

Tonight is going to be special, whoever wins.


Good evening! We've already had a treat with the first semi-final, where England booked their spot, but who joins them?

The Black Ferns will face France, out for revenge after last year's northern tour struggles.

Kick off is about 30 minutes away, so stick around!


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

The Black Ferns have ridden a wave of public support through the first World Cup on home soil, emerging undefeated, but not unscarred from pool play, learning some lessons as they went.

After being outmuscled in their pool match against Wales, they completely turned the tables against the same opposition in their quarter-final and are now well poised to take on the powerful French, who defeated them 38-12 and 29-7 on their northern hemisphere tour last year.

Coach Wayne Smith has made one change to his starting line-up, with Renee Holmes inserted at fullback and Ruby Tui shifting to the wing to replaced Aysesha Let-I'iga.

France have suffered one loss through this tournament - 13-7 to England in pool play - but also lost star halfback Laure Sansau in that match. Although they are only ranked fourth in the world - New Zealand are second - the French are probably worth more than that and have the ability to thwart the Kiwis' title defence. 

Join us at 7:30pm for kickoff.

New Zealand: 1-Phillipa Love, 2-Georgia Ponsonby, 3-Amy Rule, 4-Maiakawanakaulani Roos, 5-Chelsea Bremner, 6-Alana Bremner, 7-Sarah Hirini, 8-Liana Mikaele-Tu'u, 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

France: 1-Annaelle Deshaye, 2-Agathe Sochat, 3-Clara Joyeux, 4-Celine Ferer, 5-Madoussou Fall, 6-Gaëlle Hermet, 7-Charlotte Escudero, 8-Romane Menager, 9-Pauline Bourdon, 10-Caroline Drouin, 11-Marine Menager, 12-Gabrielle Vernier, 13-Maelle Filopon, 14-Joanna Grisez, 15-Emilie Boulard

Reserves: 16-Celia Domain, 17-Coco Lindelauf, 18-Assia Khalfaoui, 19-Safi N'diaye, 20-Marjorie Mayans, 21-Alexandra Chambon, 22-Lina Queyroi, 23-Chloe Jacquet


NZ Rugby in talks for groundbreaking women's British & Irish Lions tour to NZ

By Stephen Foote

Kiwi rugbyheads could soon be in for another spectacle on home soil, with the prospect of a groundbreaking women's British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

Chief executive Mark Robinson has confirmed NZ Rugby is in talks with its counterparts in the United Kingdom and Ireland for a potential visit to face the Black Ferns in a three-test series, with some midweek fixtures against provincial unions "right around the country".

"The inaugural women's Lions tour is now something being considered seriously by the home nations," Robinson said. "They are talking about making that possibility real. 

"We're signaling very strongly that we would like to be the host for that tour, with the possibility of three test matches and 3-4 midweek games as well."

Robinson admits plenty of work lies ahead with stakeholders and partners to make the tour a reality, but is confident they can deliver on the groundbreaking concept "sometime in the next few years", at least before the Lions men visit to face the All Blacks in 2029.

Black Ferns perform a pre-match haka
Black Ferns perform a pre-match haka. Photo credit: Getty Images

The Black Ferns face France on Saturday in the semi-final of the World Cup and although ticket sales have been slow - with less than half of Eden Park's capacity accounted for - the tournament overall has been a success, shining a wider spotlight on the women's game.

Robinson says the timing is right to capitalise on its rapidly rising popularity, and give fans outside Auckland and Whangārei - where the World Cup has been based - an opportunity to get in on the action.

"[This tournament] has obviously been magnificent," he noted. "We've had people from all over the place to see us. 

"It'd be great to do another pinnacle event like that quite soon right around the country as well, and get more and more people engaged with our amazing Black Ferns and rugby at that level in full stadia."

The proposed midweek games would likely be played against Super Rugby Aupiki sides, with Farah Palmer Cup teams another option.

"It just goes to show how quickly and rapidly the women’s game is growing," Robinson said.

"We've been a major contributor to Lions history for well over 100 years. To think that will now grow and develop with the women’s game is massively exciting."

With England currently ranked the No.1 side in the world, their players would probably make up most of the side's composition. Wales, Scotland and Ireland are both considerably off the pace compared to the English and the French in the women's Six Nations.

Scotland failed to record a win at the World Cup, while Ireland missed out on qualification altogether.

Wales advanced past poolplay, where they were resoundingly beaten by the Black Ferns in the quarter-finals for the second time in the tournament. 

Robinson hopes to provide more details early next year.