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New Zealand are World Champions

England v New Zealand Selena Rudge of England is tackled by Anna Richards of New Zealand during the IRB Women's World Cup Final

New Zealand realised their dream of retaining their World Cup with a 19-9 victory over a brave England side.

The first half was dominated by big hits and the boots of the respective kickers.

Tammi Wilson, for New Zealand, and Shelley Rae, for England, exchanged penalties before Wilson edged the Black Ferns ahead with another three points.

Rae then slotted over the first drop-goal of this year's World Cup and sent England ahead for the first time with a further penalty.

But sevens minutes before the break scrum-half Monique Hirovanaa spotted a gap from the back of a maul and sped home for the game's opening try.

11-9 up at half-time, New Zealand added another six minutes into the second half through flanker Cheryl Waaka to increase their lead to seven points.

Although Victoria Heighway was sinbinned midway through the second half, England were unable to take advantage of their extra player as the Black Ferns defence remained solid.

And, in the end, New Zealand had England pinned in their own half, and incapable of gaining sufficient possession to get back into the match.

New Zealand player of the match Monique Hirovanaa scored one try and set up another. She was modest about her own achievements. "I just took the opportunities that presented themselves. "This is so exciting to achieve thw World Cup twice in a row. Our motto was to 'Be better than before'. That was achieved."

Darryl Sua Sua, who is stepping down as New Zealand coach, reflected on the win. "It's great to have gone out on such a high. this was a real test.

"We tried to mix the way we played and it worked out."

Click here to see the story of the World Cup Final

All photos ŠIRB unless otherwise stated