New Zealand beat England in thriller to regain Women's Rugby World Cup

Toka Natua scored a hat-trick as New Zealand came from behind to regain the Women's Rugby World Cup with a 41-32 victory over defending champions England at Belfast's Kingspan Stadium.

The Black Ferns won four World Cups in a row between 1998 and 2010, beating England in the final three times, but it was the Red Roses who triumphed at the last edition of the event three years ago.

Another England win appeared likely on Saturday when they responded to Selica Winiata's early try by opening up a 17-5 lead after 33 minutes, aided by a yellow card for Sarah Goss.

However, New Zealand came roaring back to secure a fifth title, with prop Natua doing much of the damage as she crossed on three occasions.

Kendra Cocksedge and Charmaine Smith also touched down for New Zealand, who were much the stronger in the second period.

Touchdowns from Lydia Thompson (2) and Izzy Noel-Smith, in addition to a penalty try, ultimately proved in vain for England.


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