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Watch: 'Ban her' - Pitch intruder gate crashes Red Roses huddle

By Ian Cameron
The pitch invader was unceremoniously pushed out of the huddle.

There have been calls for a pitch intruder who gate-crashed a Red Roses huddle during the Rugby World Cup final in Auckland to be banned from attending matches.

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England were hot favourites going into Saturday’s final at Auckland’s iconic Eden Park but slipped to a 34-31 loss at the hands of defending champions New Zealand in a repeat of the 2017 final.

Footage of the woman who attempted to enter the post-game huddle as the devastated England players were coming to terms with their loss to the hosts was posted on Twitter. The invader had made her way from the side of the pitch and was quickly ejected by England’s Sarah McKenna.

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“WTF is actually going on here?,” wrote Women’s Rugby Comp on the social media platform. “Pitch invader runs on pitch, gets into England Rugby post-game huddle, McKenna pushes her away. Identify her. Ban her. Possible arrest for trespassing. Horrible England players had to deal with this.”

Prior to Saturday’s loss in the final, England had not lost a Test match since July 2019, with a 28-13 defeat to New Zealand after Renee Wickliffe’s hat-trick.

September’s 73-7 hammering of Wales saw England head into the World Cup as record-breakers and they went on to beat Fiji, France, South Africa, Australia and Canada to reach the final.

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England beat France in three of their next four Tests and nine times in total on the run – with those matches ranking as the nine narrowest winning margins until the 26-19 semi-final win over Canada.

England beat Les Bleues by two points on three occasions, four, six (twice), 10, 12 and 23 and every other opponent prior to Canada by at least 27.

Their overall record for the 30-game unbeaten stretch read 1,405 points scored and only 247 conceded, a per-match average of 46.8 to 8.2.

That included a pair of comprehensive wins over New Zealand, 43-12 and 56-15 in the autumn of 2021, and Wayne Smith’s side followed up those losses with two more against France but have been perfect since, now moving to a 12-match winning run after taking their revenge in the final.

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additional reporting PA

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