England beat France to reach Women's World Cup final

Pauline Gross
August 23, 2017

World champions England are through to Women's Rugby World Cup final after a powerful performance saw them beat France.

Fly-half Katy McLean also controlled the game with precision once again in tricky Belfast conditions.

It was all square at half-time after France's Shannon Izar, actually born in London, cancelled out Emily Scarratt's first penalty, leaving the score at 3-3.

England kept their opponents pinned back after the break, and it took some superb French defence to deny them after 20 phases of forward-dominated attacking, before a penalty was awarded for offside and Scarratt landed her second-successful kick.

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But the Red Roses took control after the restart as converted tries from Sarah Bern and Megan Jones, along with another penalty from Scarratt, steered them to victory.

A succession of pick and drives near the France line saw Sarah Bern crash over for the first try of the game and her first at global level.

"It was a game befitting of a World Cup Semi-Final", said head coach Simon Middleton after England's win from their last-four tie.

France had a score ruled out after a try saving tackle by Meg Jones and then the centre latched onto a handling error to score England's second try and book a place in Saturday's final (26 August, live on ITV - 19:45pm BST). France came at us and they've given us the greatest test we've had so far in this tournament. Both defences stood up and the tackle count shows that but we had a white wall and there was no way they were getting across our try line tonight.

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