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Hosts New Zealand, France storm into Rugby World Cup Quarter Finals

By AAP
RWC 2021 – France v Fiji (2)

New Zealand have secured top seeding for the Women’s Rugby World Cup quarter-finals with an emphatic bonus-point 57-0 win over Scotland in Whangarei.

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The Black Ferns had already sealed a last-eight spot with earlier group wins over Australia and Wales, and made themselves the top-ranked team in the playoffs with Saturday’s win by nine tries to nil.

France then recovered well from their bruising loss to England a week ago to coast into the knockout round with a 44-0 win over Fiji, which also eliminated the Pacific Islanders.

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New Zealand Black Ferns vs Scotland Women | Match Highlights | Rugby World Cup 2021
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New Zealand Black Ferns vs Scotland Women | Match Highlights | Rugby World Cup 2021

“It was a great game, we are very happy. Now we have to work hard for the quarter-finals,” France forward Coco Lindelauf said.

“Fiji really play rugby, they have a feeling for rugby and it was a great game. From now on its knockout, who wins goes to the semi-finals so we have to win.”

New Zealand set out to play high octane rugby from the start and produced their best performance of the tournament by far, an almost flawless di splay of 15-woman rugby. Though fielding a line-up with several changes from the match against Wales, they clicked from the outset and proved too much for the Scotland defence who faced wave after wave of attacks.

The host nation had their first try in less than two minutes and added three more to lead 24-0 after only 18. Veteran winger Renee Wickliffe, playing at her fourth World Cup, had a double before the break including a brilliant solo try in which she swerved around the Scotland fullback.

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By halftime, the Kiwis had carried for almost 600 meters and Scotland for fewer than 30. While their backplay shone, New Zealand also fielded a much-improved scrum ahead of the playoffs.

The Black Ferns took 13 minutes to score the first try of the second half and when they did, through Maia Roos, they passed 50 points for the second time in the group stage. Fullback Renee Holmes made the game symmetrical with the last try after scoring the first.

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