27 Aug 2017

Black Ferns win fifth world title

9:19 am on 27 August 2017

The New Zealand Black Ferns have won their fifth Rugby World Cup title with a 41-32 win over England in the final in Belfast.

Look back at how the match unfolded here

New Zealand's prop Toka Natua scores a try during the Women's Rugby World Cup 2017.

New Zealand's prop Toka Natua scores a try during the Women's Rugby World Cup 2017. Photo: AFP

The Black Ferns drew first blood in the match with a try to fullback Selica Winiata off a well timed cross field kick on halfway.

England, the reigning champions, were quick to strike back though and were helped by a yellow card to Black Ferns flanker Sarah Goss who was judged to have taken a player beyond horizontal in a tackle on the 20 minute mark.

England were already dominating up front before the Goss send off and controlled the territory and possession statistics for most of the half.

Missed the match? Check out how it all unfolded with our commentary here.

While Goss was off, England added a penalty and a try to their tally and scored one more try before the break to take a 17-10 lead at half time.

The second half was a different story for New Zealand, after struggling to get over the gain line, the Black Ferns' forwards upped the ante, opening the scoring with a try to prop Toka Natua.

New Zealand's full-back Selica Winiata.

New Zealand's full-back Selica Winiata. Photo: AFP

Natua nabbed her third try of the match just 15 minutes later to help extend New Zealand's lead late in the second half.

A dart from halfback Kendra Cocksedge just five metres out gave the Black Ferns a healthy 36-25 lead with less than 20 minutes left on the clock and when Selica Winiata bagged her second try of the match off another cross field kick, the match appeared byond doubt with 10 minutes to play.

However, England weren't done. With four minutes left on the clock Black Ferns replacement Lesley Ketu was sent to the sin bin for a ruck infringement, giving the defending champions one last chance to mount a comeback.

England took advantage of the penalty, scoring a try off the back of a rolling maul to claw back some of the defecit.

However it was too little too late for England, New Zealand slowed the ball down in the final minutes of the game to draw out the win and claim their fifth world cup title.

Black Ferns prop Toka Natua was named player of the match.