Rugby: Black Ferns beat England to win Super Series title

The Black Ferns have won the Rugby Super Series, after a hat-trick to Renee Wickliffe lifted them to a 28-13 win over England in their final match in San Diego.

After losing to France in their previous game, the New Zealand women were determined to end the campaign in style, and Wickliffe's three tries helped them do that, while also keeping their number-one world ranking.

Along with the winger's three tries, Kendra Cocksedge also kicked three penalties and two conversions, while England centre Emily Scarratt scored all her team's points.

After New Zealand lost Toka Natua to the sin-bin, England were 10-3 ahead after nine minutes, when Scarratt collected a Zoe Harrison pass and powered over, then converted the try and kicked a penalty goal.

But New Zealand were quick to respond, when Wickliffe scored two tries in three minutes, as the Black Ferns led 15-10 at the halftime break.

England opened the scoring in the second half, when another penalty goal to Scarratt closed the gap.

Minutes later, New Zealand lost hooker Te Kura Ngata-Aerengemate to the sin-bin and the short-handed Black Ferns had to work hard defensively to prevent England from regaining the lead.

Cocksedge restored the Black Ferns' five-point advantage with a 59th penalty goal, but they secured their winning advantage from a scrum in the 64th minute, when Theresa Fitzpatrick put Wickliffe over to complete her hat-trick.

Halfback Cocksedge kicked her third penalty goal of the game to put the result beyond doubt.

New Zealand have won seven of their last eight games against England.

The Black Ferns finish the five-team tournament with three wins against Canada, USA and England, along with their loss to France.

New Zealand will be back in action next month, when they face the Wallaroos in a two-test series for the Laurie O'Reilly Memorial Trophy, starting on August 10 in Perth.


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