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Page last updated at 21:54 GMT, Wednesday, 1 September 2010 22:54 UK

England Women beat Australia to reach World Cup final

Women's Rugby World Cup 2010 Final
Venue: Twickenham StoopDate: Sun 5 Sept
Kick-off: 1715 BST Coverage: Live on Sky Sports 3; watch highlights on Monday 6 Sept, 1300 BST on the BBC 2 and BBC Sport website (UK only)

Catherine Spencer
Spencer's early try settled England nerves

England Women will face New Zealand in the World Cup final on Sunday after defeating Australia 15-0 at Twickenham Stoop in Wednesday's semi-final.

England opened the scoring through Catherine Spencer's sixth-minute try, which Katy McLean converted.

And Danielle Waterman's 21st-minute try increased that lead, while McLean also sent over a late penalty.

England held on despite Heather Fisher's late yellow card with Ruan Simns also sin-binned for Australia.

The Black Ferns had earlier beaten France comprehensively 45-7 but England started Wednesday's final in confident fashion.

Their dominance was rewarded with an early try with Spencer bundling over from close range, after the hosts elected for a five-metre scrum, having been awarded a penalty.

Last-ditch tackling, notably on Fiona Pocock, prevented further England scores before wing Waterman finished off a flowing three-quarter move to dive over in the the corner.

McLean missed the conversion as England went into the break 12-0 up.

Australia staged a second-half fight back, but superb defence from England held out the visitors, preventing them from registering a single point.

England had Fisher yellow-carded with 12 minutes remaining, but Australia also saw Sims sin-binned late on as McLean sent over the resulting penalty to seal the victory.

England, who won the tournament in 1994, have reached four of the last five finals but lost out to New Zealand in the last two.

"Finally at last we can start to think about the final," said Spencer.


"The girls dug really deep in the second half and we held on. We had a lot of pressure in the first half but let a couple of chances go by and it would have been nice to go into the break with a few more scores under our belt.

"But this has prepared us perfectly for the final against New Zealand. It would be great to beat them on home soil and I definitely believe we are good enough to do it. I really believe there is more to come from this unit."

Coach Gary Street said: "I think our defence was superb, we were composed and held out for the victory.

"Sunday's match is going to be a great game and I hope we can get a few fans down here to cheer us on."

* You can watch highlights of the World Cup final between England and New Zealand on the BBC on Monday.

England: Danielle Waterman (Worcester), Charlotte Barras (Saracens), Emily Scarratt (Lichfield), Alice Richardson (Richmond), Fiona Pocock (Richmond); Katy McLean (Darlington), Amy Turner (Richmond); Rochelle Clark, Amy Garnett, Rosemarie Crowley (Lichfield), Tamara Taylor (Darlington), Jo McGilchrist (Wasps), Heather Fisher (Worcester), Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens), Catherine Spencer (Bristol, capt).
Replacements: Emma Croker (Richmond), Sophie Hemming (Bristol), Becky Essex (Richmond), Sarah Beale (Lichfield), La Toya Mason (Richmond), Rachael Burford (Richmond).

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see also
England Women win to reach semis
28 Aug 10 |  Rugby Union
England Women thrash Kazakhstan
24 Aug 10 |  Rugby Union
England Women 27-0 Ireland Women
20 Aug 10 |  Rugby Union
Spencer set to make World Cup mark
12 Aug 10 |  Rugby Union
Surrey duo target World Cup final
19 Aug 10 |  Rugby Union
Here come the girls
05 Aug 10 |  Rugby Union

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