Auckland, NEW ZEALAND. England, untested after their second pool match against France, played their own way throughout the tournament and expected the semi-finals to be the same, but their Canadian rivals refused to make it easy, forcing them to work until the last minute in their tense a 26-19 win at Eden Park on Saturday.

Dominating the opening pass, he felt the game would go as expected, with England’s footwork keeping Canada within 22 metres, before their dominant lineout eventually led to Marley Packer’s first flank tryout. they say

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England pulled the lead even further through the flanking Abbey Doe under constant pressure from their exceptional kicks that gave Canada no chance to get out of their red zone. Until 12:0 in less than 15 minutes, everything seemed to be going in favor of England.

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Moments later, however, the game was blown wide open when Canadian flanker Karen Paquin finished off a tournament contender (outdone by Dow in the second half) after midfielder Justin Pelletier sent a grubber across the defensive line before Paquin blasted through the defense to land. Their own rolling sledgehammer would once again put them in striking position, and center Alicia Corrigan dotted and tied the score at 12-12 with minutes left in the half.

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“I thought Canada was fantastic,” England manager Simon Middleton said after the match. “It was truly the best standard we have ever come across. They kept the ball very well and challenged us in every aspect of the game and I think the character they showed was fantastic.”

“We know we weren’t the best today, Canada didn’t let us be even close to our best and I thought we were a bit tired sometimes today.

“We got off to a really good start, we had a great first 15 minutes of the game and then we just let Canada in and I think we were a little nervous, which is understandable, the pressure on the teams was huge and the expectations were huge. these girls and yet they keep delivering again and again.

“You could see that in our performance today we found a way to win, and this is the most important thing, and the character that they showed.

“It was really ironic because the defense eventually got us home, but it gave us problems in the beginning. Not being clinical when we had a great opportunity to probably score 3 points. You know, we gave them half a chance and they took it.”

As they did throughout the tournament, the Red Roses displayed their many threats throughout the park, their scrum and lineout buzzing, while their footwork—particularly from forward Zoe Harrison, who landed a sensational 50-22 leg kick—had his opponents were squeezed inside their own 22 meters for several periods. But they lacked the clinical benefit they had demonstrated so many times before.

Having conceded 15 passes and holding just 38 per cent of possession and 29 per cent of territory, it was far from England’s best performance, but after enduring a flurry of Canadian attackers, including a 10-minute one-man lag, England did just enough to make it 30 wins in a row.

“Canada has certainly made life difficult for us at times, but I was really proud of how we fought and did well in this game,” said Red Roses captain Sarah Hunter. “As Simon says, we were definitely not the best, but you don’t have to be the best to make it to the final. We’re in the finals and we’ve found a way to get there.

“At times in the last 20 minutes the girls had to dig deeper and put their bodies on the line to stop Canada from getting into the game and potentially making a draw. Even when we’re not at our best, we can still find ways to win. and we’re in the final, which is what we were aiming to do, and that’s what we’re really happy with today. We need to make sure we’re ready to do it again next week.”

Two quick penalties on either side of half-time gave the Red Roses a points lead before Doe scored a spectacular shot that started from behind the England in-goal and ran 105 meters into the field to give England a 23-13 lead.

By refusing to leave, Canada would close the gap again with Tyson Buckeboom throwing himself across the Red Roses’ defensive line before she completed her move a few phases later when she crashed into the line.

Forced to dig deeper, England will prove why they are World Cup favorites as they shut out Emily Scarratt’s penalty shootout and while Middleton would like a cleaner game from him, he knows his team needs a real test in the semi-finals. to properly prepare for the battle they would face the Black Ferns in the grand finals.

“This game was a great advertisement for rugby and this is what you need – nothing less than a fantastic game and spectacle,” said Middleton. “The 46 players deserve all the credit because they were incredible tonight.

“If we had an easy semi-final today and passed it, we would not be ready for next week. I’m telling you now, we’re ready for next week.”