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England fans are all saying the same thing about Red Roses loss

By Ian Cameron
Red Roses players at Eden Park - PA

Gutted is the go-to word on the lips of English rugby this morning. The Red Roses, hot favourites for the tournament, lost 34-31 to New Zealand in the final of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Auckland.


A red for Lydia Thompson proved crucial but other issues throughout hurt England, not least a lost lineout that if gathered, could well have seen the Red Roses steal the win in the dying moments of the game.

England head coach Simon Middleton admitted in a post-match interview, that while he was proud of his players, not winning the competition was a failure for his charges in terms of their goal.

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English rugby didn’t know quite how to react on social.

Women’s rugby commentator and pundit Nick Heath wrote: “Tear in my eye tells me I was more invested in these Red Roses than even I realised. Spent a lot of time with those players and I’m truly gutted for them and everything they’ve invested. Hats off to the hosts. An incredible journey under Wayne Smith. Congrats to them.”

Topsy Ojo wrote: “Gutted for the #RedRoses. Heartbreak, gave it everything. Congratulations NZ, incredible performance and some turnaround over the 11 months.”

The official England Rugby Twitter account summed things up well, posting: “Sport can be tough, but we’re still proud of our Red Roses. You gave it your all. Hold your heads high.”


“Jesus, what a game,” wrote RPA Chairman Ethan Waller. “Absolutely gutted for the Red Roses. What a performance with 14 players for the majority of time, and in it for the full 80.”

“I feel exhausted after all that,” wrote one England fan. “An unbelievable game and proof that women’s sport continues its ascent. So disappointed for the #redroses but to hang on with a player down for over 50 mins was amazing & I hope they feel as proud as I do!”

Elliott Butlin wrote: “Oh sport, you’re so so cruel. Absolutely heartbreaking for the Red Roses. They’ve done us all proud. Gutted for them all.”

Another fan said she preferred the Women’s team to Eddie Jones’ men’s side. “Absolutely gutted for the Red Roses, they played until the very end and gave their all. Personally I’d rather watch the ladies then the England Rugby men at the moment.”


Even Wales fans were commiserating. “Unbelievably heartbreaking. What a final,” wrote Squidge Rugby.

England will no doubt go back to the drawing board, with an eye to 2025.


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thomas 554 days ago

I am struggling to understand why the TMO is heard to make the call for Lydia Thompson to get a red card ??? I thought it was the Referee's decision. And why was there a New Zealand official in the TMO's box acting as a Technical Advisor.
Lydia was attempting to tackle Woodman and had made a run assuming Woodman would keep to the touchline, but Woodman moved in field stopping Lydia dead. Woodman ran into her, and there was a clash of head's something Lydia could do nothing about. So why did the TMO give a red ??

Tomasi 585 days ago

Red Roses will be tough to beat come '25 WRWC on home soil

Al 585 days ago

sunshine i did watch the whole tournament and the ferns delt with Welsh and French the same way with strength and to cut a long story short a game plan not one dimensional and if the roses had so many injuries maybe the replacement. anyway sometimes the truth can hurt i do apologies

Allan 586 days ago

Not ONE English commentator thinks that the Black Ferns simply out-thought, out ran, and out-pointed the English team. Speed, agility, guile, ball skills, and sheer TOUGHNESS are what won the Final for the Black Ferns. They are superb. The English have played one-dimensional rugby for so long that it's now almost entrenched in their DNA, and when an opposition plays completely another free-spirited way, the Poms have no idea of how to cope with it. Wayne Smith is an absolute genius, and his girls played like the Grim Reaper was chasing them - they left it ALL on the field. Congratulations ladies - your names will now be household words around the whole of New Zealand!!

Wayne 586 days ago

As a Kiwi I still feel empathy for the English. This test could have gone either way - it spun on a pin. It's hard being the favourites coming into a sudden death tournament - an extra burden for them to carry. We Kiwis should know. Just ask an All Black team that's gone to a World Cup as favourites and come home empty handed. Sports a funny old thing.

Jackson 586 days ago

Great game Ladies. Disappointed with the English Style/game plan
Why didn't you run it like the Kiwi ladies did, that's what Rugby Union is all about, its not the Northern Hemisphere crash bash stuff. Really enjoyed the whole 90 + minutes

Graham 586 days ago

As a Kiwi and loving the result I would say to English viewers, be disappointed for the Red Roses, do NOT be disappointed in them

Al 586 days ago

i watch the game and was proud of the black ferns for when it came down to genuine rugby the ferns did win it they had the fleer pure and speed and skill for 80min while the roses had by far brute strength and if i want to witness a game of train carriages and how many are towing it i will know where to go. 30 games unbeaten is an amazing feet congratulations but maybe now Simon you will add some fleer and speed into your game

Peter 586 days ago

No risk, no reward.

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Shaylen 4 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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