Thu, Sep 14, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Black Ferns close in on their third Rugby World Cup

AP , EDMONTON, ALBERTA

Canada's Maria Gallo, left, takes down England's Michaela Staniford in the first half of the Women's Rugby World Cup at the Edmonton Rugby Club in Edmonton, Alberta, on Tuesday.

PHOTO: AP

New Zealand moved within a win of its third straight Women's Rugby World Cup after thrashing France 40-10 in the semi-finals on Tuesday.

The Black Ferns will contest Sunday's final against England, which survived a late rally to edge host Canada 20-14. New Zealand downed England 19-9 to win the 2002 World Cup final at Barcelona.

Fullback Amiria Marsh scored behind the posts in the first minute to open the scoring for New Zealand, en route to the defending champion's 14th straight win in World Cup play.

French No. 8 Delphine Plantet scored the first try against New Zealand this tournament in the eighth minute after the Black Ferns pack was shunted off a five-meter scrum feed.

Center Huriana Manuel restored New Zealand's lead two minutes later and openside flanker Rochelle Martin scored twice more to leave the score at 20-5 at the break.

Emma Jensen extended the lead just over a minute into the second half, but French lock Corinne Devroute crossed the line shortly after to keep the game alive.

England opened its match confidently with a seventh-minute try to Charlotte Barras and a penalty from Karen Andrew to take an 8-0 lead into the break.

Kim Shaylor crossed for another unconverted try in the 43rd minute for a 13-0 lead.

Canada drew within six points after Julie Foster replied with a try in the 49th minute, which captain Kelly McCallum converted.

Barras scored her second try of the match in the 73rd minute and England held out a late Canadian rally in the final three minutes when Heather Moyse scored a converted try.

Canada will now face France in the bronze medal match on Sunday.

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