Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

England suffer first Test defeat

Emily Scarratt, centre, scored a conversion and a penalty for England

England's women were beaten 29-10 by their New Zealand counterparts as they kicked off their three-Test series with the 1000th women's international.

Marlie Packer scored Gary Street's side's only try, with full-back Emily Scarratt supplementing that with a conversion and a penalty.

New Zealand looked the more fluent side throughout, though, and crossed the line three times, with Kelly Brazier kicking 14 points at Eden Park.

The tries came from Justine Lavea, debutant Portia Woodman and Amiria Rule, ensuring England's winning streak against the world champions, which accounted for series wins in 2011 and 2012, ended.

"Obviously we are disappointed because in the second half we let it slip a bit," said Street afterwards. "We started missing tackles whilst the Black Ferns took their opportunities. At the end of the first half we grew in confidence but then come the restart we lost our way.

"We'll have a look at the footage, analyse it well and make sure we learn from it for our next game on Tuesday.

"We have certainly got to improve our accuracy with the ball at the breakdown and make sure we don't give the referee so many chances to penalise us."

It was the metronomic boot of Brazier which kept the sides apart for most of the game, ticking them along until Woodman went over the line.

Bristol's Packer would get England back into it at 8-7 at the break, but it was one-way traffic afterwards, with first Rule and then Lavea sealing the win for New Zealand in the final six minutes.

The second meeting between the two is in Waikato on Tuesday.

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