26 Nov 2017

Kiwi Ferns march into World Cup final

6:58 pm on 26 November 2017

A Honey Hireme hat-trick has spearheaded the Kiwi Ferns' Women's Rugby League World Cup 52-4 semi-final win over England in Sydney.

Honey Hireme scores against England

Honey Hireme scores against England Photo: photosport

Winger Hireme crossed for a double midway through the second half to break the Lionesses backs as the Kiwi Ferns advanced to their fifth World Cup final in five attempts.

The Kiwi Ferns will play Australia in the tournament final in Brisbane on Saturday.

After scoring six tries in last week's rout of the Cook Islands, the former Rugby Union Test representative was once again the chief destroyer at Southern Cross Group Stadium and took her tournament tally to 11.

The English were still in the hunt down 14-4 at the halftime break thanks to a Tara-Jane Stanley four-pointer in the 22nd minute.

Hireme - nicknamed "Honey Bill" - had a mixed first-half but put her stamp on the match after the break, strolling over in the left-hand corner six minutes after the resumption.

She charged over for a second in the 57th to take the game out of England's hands at 28-4 before she put the icing on the cake with a powerful run to grab her third in the 78th.

Amazingly, she could have had two more but twice elected to hand the ball off to a teammate with the tryline begging.

First, in the 67th, the Kiwi Ferns created space on the edge and Hireme looked certain to score however she passed it to Hilda Peters, despite having the line wide open in front of her.

Then with the final play of the game she busted through five tackles and was in the in-goal however unselfishly handed it off to skipper Laura Mariu.

After a mixed showing in their 36-8 win over Papua New Guinea last week, coach Tony Benson would have been happy with his side's complete performance heading into Saturday's final.

The three-time champions are seeking to regain the World Cup after losing to Australia in the 2013 final.