Former schoolgirl’s try not enough as England lose World Cup final

By Jake Chown  
Wednesday 30th August 2017 1:58 pm
Izzy Noel-Smith. Getty Images via RFU Collection

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FORMER Monmouth student Izzy Noel-Smith had the last word with a late try in the weekend’s Women’s Rugby World Cup final, but it wasn’t enough to prevent defeat as New Zealand recorded their fifth title.

A former pupil at Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls who cut her rugby teeth in the junior section at Monmouth Rugby Club, 29-year-old Noel-Smith’s late try gave England a glimpse of hope but it proved too late in a second half dominated by the Black Ferns.

In the first half a penalty try and the first of Lydia Thompson’s double gave England a narrow 17-10 advantage at half time, with the Red Roses dominating territory and possession in the first 40 minutes.

But in the second half the Black Ferns took control, as prop Toka Natua led the way with a hat-trick to deny the defending champions back-to-back titles.

Flying full-back Selica Winiata grabbed a brace and Charmaine Smith and Kendra Cocksedge went over. Thompson added her second try after the break but by the time Izzy Noel-Smith charged over with five minutes to go, the cup was lost.

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