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The 2014-year of women's international rugby recorded the seventh Rugby World Cup played in a splendid tournament filled with surprises and a breakout world-class player. The event's success will serve as a springboard for the future development of the women's game.
1. Rugby World Cup - Event: The seventh WRWC was contested in France, achieving record-breaking crowds and significantly increased television coverage. The August venues brought together 12-teams, where New Zealand was the undisputed favorite. The preliminary games were played at Marcoussis, 20-miles south of Paris, at the French Rugby Federation national headquarters. The semis and finals moved to the spacious, 25,000 seat Stade Jean Bouin in Paris, the right size to host the final games. All credit to the French for running an efficient tournament.
2. Rugby World Cup - Results: To everyone's shock and surprise, the Black Ferns did not make the quarterfinals, finishing fifth. New Zealand had won the past four Cup championships and were favored to repeat, especially, after an undefeated 2014 of dominance. In the final, England, a perennial bridesmaid with four Silver medals, defeated a plucky Canadian side 21-9 for the Gold. France triumphed over Ireland for third place Bronze.
3. Rugby World Cup - The Upset That Rocked the World: The victory by Ireland over the Black Ferns represented the international upset win of the year in women's and men's rugby. The Irish, third place finishers in the Six Nations Championship, battled the undefeated New Zealanders 17-14 in a thriller. Phil Doyle, the Irish coach, announced his retirement after the tournament and his team played a blinder to give him this farewell victory. Of note is that one million Irish watched the game in spoken Galeic on the only Irish TV channel that covered the game.
4. Rugby World Cup - The Improbable Point Tally: After New Zealand lost to Ireland, it would be 2-1 in pool play, with high scoring points' wins over the USA and Kazakhstan. The Black Ferns had every empirical reason to believe that the loser of the Canada vs. England game would also be 2-1, and the New Zealanders would advance into the quarters to secure their fifth straight WRWC crown because of a favorable points scored differential. But, Canada and the Red Roses tied 13-13, both achieving draw points, which gave them record of 2-0-1, and one more point than New Zealand!
5. Rugby World Cup - Magali Harvey: Canada's brilliant speedster, Magali Harvey, was named IRB Player of the Year, a much deserved award for an exceptional year. Her try against France is a long run of beauty, stamina, and poise. It was so outstanding that it reached the five finalists for the Player's (men's and women's) "Try Of The Year." http://youtu.be/B7em0YJYBk8
WRWC Review (Seven Events)
Team Gold Silver Bronze
New Zealand 4 0 0
England 2 4 1
USA 1 2 0
France 0 0 5
Canada 0 1 0
Australia 0 0 1