World Cup Semi Final
England (3) 20
Tries: Bern, Jones Cons: Scarratt 2 Pens: Scarratt 2
France (3) 3
Current World Champions, England are only 80 mins away from defending their title as they overcame a France to reach their second successive final.
France pushed from the start but despite having a large percentage of the early procession, some excellent English defence held them out and late in the 1st half England took the lead against the run of play thanks to an Emily Scarratt penalty. The French pushed forward again and were rewarded with a penalty just within kicking range with seconds left of the half. Shannon Izar, stepped up and slotted the ball between the posts to make it 3-3 at the break.
The Second half was all about England, the defending champs pushed forward from the kick off and immediately but the French women under pressure and although they had them on the rocks, England were rewarded another penalty which Scarratt easily converted making it 6-3.
The English girls, seemed to have an air of confidence about them as they snubbed out any French attacks and were soon back pressuring the French try line, until Prop forward Sarah Bern capped off a fantastic performance with the opening try after some excellent work from the rest of the English forwards.
Scarratt added the conversion to open up a 10-point lead with less than 15 mins to go. As the game entered its final stages the Lionesses looked the fitter of the teams and just as the hooter was about to sound, the English defence pressured the French into making an error behind their own line and Megan Jones was on hand to bounce on the ball and seal victory. Scarratt again added the conversion to make it 20-3.
They will now face the team that has recently taken their World number 1 tag and five times World Champions the Black Ferns in Saturdays final, after they overcame a spirited but tired USA side 45-12 in the first Semi-final.
The Final will take place on Saturday in Belfast.