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New Zealand won the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup defeating defending champions England 41-32 in Kingspan Stadium Belfast. It marked the fifth gold medal in eight tournaments for the Black Ferns, and, again, placed them atop the rankings for the year.

The game was a tale of two halves with the Red Roses leading 17-5 in the first period, retaining a seven-point advantage (17-10) at the break. But the Kiwis responded with a 31-point outburst from five tries in the second period to secure the win.

Kiwi Prop Toka Natua had a hat trick while Selica Winiata also notched two for New Zealand, who remained unbeaten in the tournament.

The Black Ferns played 17 amateurs with six additional players under contract. England’s XV are all professionals but those contracts were eliminated at the end of the tournament. England will continue professional contracts for sevens players only in preparation for the World Rugby Sevens World Cup for men and women in San Francisco next July 2018.

The Black Ferns’ victory also erased their lone defeat this year to England last June in New Zealand. The gold medal proved once more the Kiwi rugby world dominance that historically continues for Women and for Men.