Regional | Black Ferns

'New Zealand, Kei te pēhea koe?': Black Ferns, Rugby World Cup Champions

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"I'm just so proud to be a New Zealander right now," Black Ferns star Ruby Tui said, summing up in a few simple words the absolute jubilation created by the team's thrill-a-minute 34-31 victory over England in Saturday night's world cup final in Tāmaki Makaurau.

"They said nobody cared about women's rugby, well guess what? We out here, we out here. We going nowhere."

The wonderful celebration of women's rugby was a nailbiter from start to finish as fans' hearts soared and dropped and soared again as the Black Ferns came back from 14-0 down inside the first 15 minutes to trail 26-19 at halftime.

But there was no let-up in the second half, with both sides emptying the tanks and laying everything they had on the line.

New Zealand closed the gap to 26-24 then nudged in front 29-26 before even 10 minutes of the second spell were up.

But England stormed back moments later to edge ahead 31-29, which is how it stayed until - with just 10 minutes left in the game - Stacey Fluhler gathered in a kick-through to send Ayesha Leti-I'iga across in the corner for a Black Ferns' 34-31 match-winning lead.

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"They said we couldn't do it, they said we wouldn't. We did it - and honestly, it took all of us," said Tui.

"Anybody out there defended an England maul before? It ain't easy in the last minute, baby.

"But we all did it together, New Zealand was a part of that. I'm so proud to be here right now."

Unable to contain her joy, Tui couldn't resist singing out to the packed Eden Park crowd, "New Zealand, Tūtira Mai Ngā Iwi," setting off a chorus of singing that will warm the hearts of many for years to come.

Black Ferns 34 (Ayesha Leti-I'iga 2, Georgia Ponsonby, Amy Rule, Stacey Fluhler, Krystal Murray tries; Renee Holmes 2 cons)

England 31 (Amy Cokayne 3, Ellie Kildunne, Marlie Packer tries; Emily Scarratt 3 cons)

Halftime: 19-26

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