Rugby: Black Ferns' reluctant hero Joanah Ngan-Woo on World Cup-winning lineout steal

It was a moment that ultimately won the Black Ferns the Rugby World Cup, but it was just another day at the office for lock-turned-saviour Joanah Ngan-Woo.

With just seconds remaining in the Rugby World Cup final, and with New Zealand holding a slender 34-31 lead over an England side on a 30-test unbeaten streak, Kiwi hearts were in mouths when the Black Ferns conceded a last-gasp lineout on their own tryline.

England's lineout had been a weapon throughout the whole tournament, including the final, and hooker Amy Cokayne had already bagged a hat-trick of tries as a result.

The Black Ferns celebrate with the Rugby World Cup.
The Black Ferns celebrate with the Rugby World Cup. Photo credit: Getty Images

But in an act of almost divine intervention, Ngan-Woo rose the highest, and with the tip of her fingers snatched the lineout, as the Black Ferns held on to win the Rugby World Cup for the sixth time.

As the Black Ferns induced a wave of euphoria across Aotearoa, Ngan-Woo has been a reluctant hero, happy to sit back and let others take the limelight.

But speaking as the team were celebrated at Parliament on Tuesday, the 26-year-old said the vital moment came down to work done on the training ground.

"I guess it was really important, but that's my bread and butter," Ngan-Woo told Newshub.

"It's what we do every single day at training. I guess that was my moment to do what I've always done.

"I'm so happy it was something that I'm used to."

As for all of the media attention and her newfound hero status? Ngan-Woo simply laughs off all the praise coming her way, while remaining grateful for the adoration her and her teammates have received.

"It's been absolutely crazy," she continued. "There's been articles and interviews about the hand, the 'claw'.

"I just really laugh at it. I'm like 'it's just a lineout guys'.

"But it's been amazing, especially the support of New Zealand.

"It's just amazing, the experience we had over the whole World Cup. It definitely hasn't sunk in - and I don't think it will for the next couple of months."

The team continue their 'Thank you, Aotearoa' tour in Ruatoki on Wednesday, Whakatane on Thursday, Omaio and Gisborne on Friday, before finishing in Auckland on Sunday.

Further events will be organised for 2023, when the team return from their holidays.