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Women's World Cup Finalists - After three-years of waiting, New Zealand Women return to the finals of the World Rugby Women's World Cup tomorrow to face their main Nemesis, England. This marks the fourth occasion these fifteens will face off for the cup. The dominance of the two nations can be seen in the fact that in seven prior WRWC tournaments (total of14 finalists), the Red Roses and the Black Ferns represented ten cup spots, or 71%. (USA 3, and Canada 1).
In WRWC 2014, after Ireland upset New Zealand in pool, play, the Black Ferns failed to advance into the semi-final round and settled for an embarrassing fifth place finish out of 12 teams, Hardly, the anticipated successful outcome then for the number one ranked side, which conquered gold in the three, prior World Cups to 2014.
The Black Ferns enjoyed three final WRWC wins against England:
2002 - NZ 19 - England 9
2006 - NZ 25 - England 17
2010 - NZ 13 - England 10
These fifteens met in June 2017 in a four nation tournament held in Rotorua, New Zealand. Both sides defeated Canada and Australia to stage a 2-0 battle for the championship. And England defeated New Zealand 29-21 in a thrilling contest.
Saturday, August 26, the finals of 2017's WRWC in Belfast, Ireland (kick off 2: 45 p.m. ET), will be between the two top ranked sides when England meet New Zealand for the fourth time with the World Cup on the line.
(Special Shout Out to the Black Fern's Portia Woodman playing in her fourth WRWC. She leads all scorers with 13-tries.)
Women's World Cup Runners Up - The USA meet France for the bronze medal tomorrow, also in Belfast, with kick off at 2 p.m. (ET). Check with www.worldrugby.org to see whether the match is streamed live. France is ranked third (above Canada) and the USA fifth (above Ireland.)
Good luck to the Eagles in their quest for a medal.
Rugby Championship, Southern Hemisphere - Saturday, August 26, will feature the second week of Rugby Championship matches when New Zealand host Australia and Argentina welcome South Africa. Last week, the All Blacks defeated the Wallabies 54-34 away in a game where the Aussies missed 50-tackles. The Springboks beat Los Pumas 32-15 at home.