England Crowned Inaugural WXV1 Champions
In a stunning display of skill and determination, England emerged victorious as the first-ever champions of the WXV1 tournament. They secured their title with a resounding 33-12 victory over reigning world champions New Zealand in Auckland.
The Red Roses seized control from the start, capitalizing on their strong opening to finish as the only unbeaten team in the top tier of WXV. With tries from Alex Matthews, Lark Atkin-Davies, and Sarah Bern early on, England set the stage for an impressive performance.
New Zealand fought back through Kennedy Simon and Katelyn Vahaakolo’s tries but found themselves unable to overcome England’s dominance. Morwenna Talling and Zoe Aldcroft further extended England’s lead, putting the game beyond reach for their opponents.
This victory not only crowned England as champions of this new global women’s rugby tournament but also ensured they maintained their position at the top of world rankings ahead of New Zealand.
From the onset, it was clear that England meant business. Within just 23 minutes into the match, they had already established a commanding 19-0 lead with three remarkable tries. Matthews powered her way over from a scrum while Atkin-Davies showcased her scoring prowess reminiscent of her four-goal performance against Canada in their previous outing. Bern added to their tally by crashing over close to New Zealand’s try line after multiple phases.
New Zealand showed signs of life when Simon and Vahaakolo scored tries, narrowing the gap to just seven points. However, England’s relentless attack continued as Talling crossed over near the posts during the second half.
With this scoreline, New Zealand faced an uphill battle. They needed to win by more than seven points and score at least four tries of their own to claim the title – a feat they were unable to achieve.