England beat New Zealand 33-12 to claim inaugural WXV1 title

England celebrate victory in the WXV1 after defeating world champions New Zealand
©Photo by Fiona Goodall - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

England 33-12 New Zealand, Auckland

England went on to claim the inaugural WXV1 title as they defeated New Zealand 33-12 in the final of the competition in Auckland.

The win will be a relief to the red roses as they went on to lose last year's final against the Black Ferns. Since then England went on to win all their 10 matches this year as Simon Middleton led them to a Grand Slam in the Six Nations before leaving the role and interim head coach Louis Deacon overseeing them in the series win over Canada and now the WXV1 tournament.

John Mitchell will be taking over as the head coach of the red roses following the World Cup campaign with Japan.

England made a promising start as back-row Alex Matthews dived over following a scrum and hooker Lark Atkin-Davies touched down in the 12th minute. Holly Aitchison kicked both the conversions as they raced to a 0-14 lead.

Their third try came in the 23rd minute when Sarah Bern dived from close range but this time the conversion drifted wide. With England 19 points ahead, New Zealand finally managed a breakthrough as Kennedy Simon dotted down and Holmes followed with the extras as the teams completed the opening half with a 7-19 lead.

Black Ferns extended the momentum into the second half as Katelyn Vahaakolo went over to make narrow down the gap to seven points but England bounced back as they build through the phases with eventually Morwenna Talling diving over the posts. Aitchison landed the conversion as the scoreline became 7-26.

Any chance of a New Zealand comeback was put off as Zoe Aldcroft completed their fifth try as they sealed the title with a 21 point victory.

Team line up:

England: Kildunne; Dow, Rowland, Heard, MacDonald; Aitchison, Hunt; Carson, Atkin-Davies, Bern, Aldcroft, Galligan, Talling, Packer, Matthews.

Reserves: Powell, Botterman, Muir, Beckett, Allen, Wyrwas, Jones, Breach.

New Zealand: Holmes; Tui, Du Plessis, Brunt, Paul; Demant, Marino-Tauhinu; Henwood, Ponsonby, Rule, Roos, C Bremner, A Bremner, Simon, Mikaele-Tu'u.

Reserves: Connor, Murray, Fisher, Sae, Jenkins, Hohaia, Maliepo, Vahaakolo.