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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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“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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