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Summary

  1. Final score: England 32-41 New Zealand
  2. New Zealand become world champions for fifth time
  3. Penalty (7pts), Thompson 2, Noel-Smith tries, Scarratt 2 pens & 2 cons for Eng
  4. Winiata 2, Natua 3, Smith, Cocksedge tries, Cocksedge 3 cons for NZ
  5. Earlier Wales beat Ireland 27-17 to finish seventh
  6. France beat USA 33-21 to finish third

Live Reporting

By Mike Henson

All times stated are UK

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Bye for now

England 32-41 New Zealand

England lose
Getty Images

Right, time to park this live text.

Thanks for your time. It was an absolute corker of a match...

Same again in 2021?

Deal.

Match stats

England 32-41 New Zealand

New Zealand
Getty Images

A titanic clash, maybe it is best to let the numbers do the talking as the word well runs dry.

England-New Zealand

Tries: 3-7

Possession: 40%-60%

Metres run: 409-531

Territory: 37%-62%

Clean breaks: 5-5

Defenders beaten: 21-14

Turnovers conceded: 15-7

'Hugely disappointed but massively proud'

England 32-41 New Zealand

BBC Radio 5 live

More from England coach Simon Middleton: "Looking back, we have had a fantastic year. Grand Slam, winning down in New Zealand. You look around here, it's bouncing. It was a great game for the neutral. We are hugely disappointed but massively proud.

"There is no consoling the players at the moment but they will look up to the stands and see what they have brought to his tournament, hopefully it will lead to bigger things.

"We have got some great young talent coming through, and we will start to rebuild now."

'We just couldn't stop them'

England 32-41 New Zealand

BBC Radio 5 live

England coach Simon Middleton, speaking to BBC Radio 5 live:

"It is a disappointment. We came here to win. We just could not get possession. They played a really smart game. When we did get the ball they had a massive physical presence, they are so good at playing that short game, that was the story of the second half.

"We did react, but we literally couldn't stop them. They were very efficient at keeping the ball. Full credit to them. When you get two great teams together, one is always going to come out on the wrong side."

'We need more coverage'

England 32-41 New Zealand

BBC Radio 5 live

England fly-half Katy McLean, speaking to BBC Radio 5 live: "It wasn't the result we wanted, the one we worked for, but all credit to New Zealand. They came with a simple plan and we didn't stop that.

"The support has been sensational, but people have got to stop saying: 'Is this the match that changes women's rugby.' Let's now let's kick on. At some point we have got to kick on and start doing stuff about it.

"We simply need more coverage. That was a great game of rugby."

England 32-41 New Zealand

New Zealand form up as a team and place the spoils of war in front of themselves before launching into a celebratory haka.

Over the way, England coach Simon Middleton is fronting up to the cameras, paying tribute to his players and admitting the Black Ferns were "fantastic".

England 32-41 New Zealand

Ugo Monye

Former Lions and England winger in Belfast

The most frustrating factor about tonight is that England conceded four identical tries around the breakdown.

Their inability to adapt to a gameplan has essentially cost them.

New Zealand lift World Cup

England 32-41 New Zealand

England's players troop up to collect their runners-up medal with smiles as weak as primary school squash.

Now it is New Zealand's turn.

They gather together on the steps of the on-pitch podium and celebrate with a sing-song conducted by fly-half Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali before Portia Woodman hoists the silverware high.

England 32-41 New Zealand

Ugo Monye

Former Lions and England winger in Belfast

England's players have an amazing opportunity to harness this pain, in the same way the Black Ferns did four years ago. They bounced back and achieved something beautiful.

A Joy to ref

England 32-41 New Zealand

Joy Neville
Getyt

Some props for Irish referee Joy Neville who controlled the match well and was crystal clear with the players.

There were a few iffy calls, but pretty much all of them came from her video colleagues.

'Bitterly disappointing'

England 32-41 New Zealand

BBC Radio 5 live

England's Emily Scarratt, speaking to BBC Radio 5 live: "It is unbelievably tough to take. When you come with one goal and get yourself into a position to achieve that, it is bitterly disappointing.

"We played some good rugby in that first half but it's hard to play well if you don't have the ball. We will come again in four years time. Fair play to New Zealand, they executed their plan better than we did ours."

England 32-41 New Zealand

Ugo Monye

Former Lions and England winger in Belfast

Although England will be gutted, they won’t be defined by this defeat. When you consider the number of people they will have inspired, it’s not just about tonight, it’s about the longevity of this game.

'We came with one goal and came up short'

England full-back Emily Scarratt speaking to ITV Sport: "The scoreline suggests a magnificent game of rugby but we are gutted. We came here with one goal and we pulled up just short. We have so many girls who are making their first World Cup appearance and they will come again."

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Ben Wire: What an advert for rugby this final has been! Well done to all involved.

Katy Mclean battles with New Zealand's Stacey Waaka
Getty Images

England 32-41 New Zealand

Ugo Monye

Former Lions and England winger in Belfast

The try just before half-time gave the Black Ferns that momentum. England were deflated by that, but in the end it was New Zealand's game plan and their execution of it that won them this game today.

England 32-41 New Zealand

Kat Merchant

2014 England World Cup winner on Radio 5 live sports extra

New Zealand just completely outplayed England in that second half.

I feel so bad for them out there. In that second when you realise you have lost the World Cup, it's a totally devastating feeling. I know how hard they have worked, it is gutting for them.

England 32-41 New Zealand

There are tears among the England players as they embrace and console each.

Full-time

England 32-41 New Zealand

The Black Ferns leap to the sky in pockets of glee.

That second-half performance was simply another level.

England were hugely committed but when you come up against a team playing like that there is not a lot to berate yourself about.

England 32-41 New Zealand

England gather the kick off. What can they do? Whatever it is, it needs to be quick.

New Zealand have no intention of allowing such a heist though. They hold up an England runner in the tackle, securing the turnover and surely snuffing out whatever embers of hope were ignited by that try...

Try - England 32-41 New Zealand

Izzy Noel-Smith

England's players sprint back towards halfway as Emily Scarratt lands the conversion from their pushover score.

New Zealand are a player down. But surely it is too late.

Two minutes to go. Two scores needed...

England 25-41 New Zealand

England are hammering away, looking for a score to at least take some consolation and finish the final on a high.

Replacement Lesley Ketu has been sin-binned for Kiwis for hinging over the ball.

The holders might just get the try they are after...

England 25-41 New Zealand

Great close-quarters hustle from Harriet Millar-Mills who snakes an arm round and disrupts Black Fearns scrum-half Kendra Cocksedge as she attempts to get the ball away from the back of a driving maul.

Knock forward.

England with the scrum in their own half.

England 25-41 New Zealand

New Zealand are winning this second half by 31-8.

It has been ruthless, relentless brilliance that has left England looking second-rate.

New Zealand have been outstanding
Getty Images

England 25-41 New Zealand

Kat Merchant

2014 England World Cup winner on Radio 5 live sports extra

England got too tight, and New Zealand, being world class, they spot it, and deliver a beautiful kick into the corner, right on the money.

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Purple Tentacle: Kiwis really showing how to make the most of a half of possession.

Try England 25-41 New Zealand

Selica Winiata

And that is surely the silverware, brasso and champagne all heading New Zealand's way.

Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali sticks up a perfect parabola of a cross-field bomb and England's defence are as narrow as a hipster's jeans.

Carla Hohepa gathers easily and offloads for Selica Winiata to stroll in for her second.

Kendra Cocksedge scuffs the conversion, but that is not going to matter now.

England 25-36 New Zealand

Heroic from Katy Mclean as she envelops opposite number Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali at full bore.

But New Zealand recycle...

England 25-36 New Zealand

New Zealand are going for the jugular.

Endless pick and go as they punch holes around the fringes.

Finally they spin wide. A canny kick from Kelly Brazier and Emily Scarratt can only run it out of play as she gathers in the shadow of the fast-advancing Portia Woodman.

Black line-out, 10 out.

England 25-36 New Zealand

Ugo Monye

Former Lions and England winger in Belfast

I think the Black Ferns are tiring. That's why they have simplified their game. But it's working for them.

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Gareth Bailey: Really enjoying #ENGvNZL@WRugbyWorldCup final and really not impressed with the standard of the TMO

Missed conversion

England 25-36 New Zealand

Kendra Cocksedge fails to convert her own try.

But England's heads are spinning. They have been hit by a blizzard of black brilliance.

Eleven points down, 15 minutes to go. Plenty to do if they are to defend their title.

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David Thackeray: Absolutely fantastic. After the European soccer championship and this show I am now fully converted to women's sport.

Andy S: What's the point of a TMO if you cannot see in slo-mo that a Black Fern picked up the ball when tackled & still on the floor?

England 25-36 New Zealand

Ugo Monye

Former Lions and England winger in Belfast

England forever on that back foot. Once again. We know what's coming from the Black Ferns, but it's so hard to repel it.

England 25-36 New Zealand

Kat Merchant

2014 England World Cup winner on Radio 5 live sports extra

England have to get so much lower around that, they have to chop the legs down, they can't let New Zealand drive them back. They have to stop it at source.

It is now or never for England. This is three years of hard work. Do they lie down and take it? Or do they step up, go on and win it.

Try - England 25-36 New Zealand

Kendra Cocksedge

Black Fearns scrum-half Kendra Cocksedge has the pace to score from far further out, but she only needs to flare the boosters for a second to dart over from a metre out.

England are right up against it now. Conversion to come as New Zealand centre Stacey Waaka goes off with an injury.

England 25-31 New Zealand

Portia Woodman sniffs fresh air and that means danger for England.

Panic stations once again in the England defence.

They have hauled down the dangerwoman, but they are not out of the woods yet.

The Black Ferns are three metres out...

Replacement

England 25-31 New Zealand

England, as is very much the fashion, have made a raft of changes.

Vicky Fleetwood, Rochelle Clark, Justine Lucas are all on in a full front-row refresh while Izzy Noel-Smith has come on for flanker Marlie Packer.

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Vince Kenny: That TMO decision is simply astonishing. Surely worth at least a second look.

Andrew Bacon: isn't that two illegal tries the Black Ferns have scored now?

England 25-31 New Zealand

Ugo Monye

Former Lions and England winger in Belfast

What brilliant usage of the law. The moment the ball was released Toka Natua could break through under the sticks.

The Red Roses cannot deal with the power of the Black Ferns, so just get rid of the ball. Play in their half, because they are dominating you.

Toka Natua
Rex Features

Converted try - England 25-31 New Zealand

Toka Natua

Was there a smidge of a fumble forward as Toka Natua gathered the ball and then thundered over?

Perhaps. But the video official is the man who matters and he thinks not.

The try stands, the conversion is simple and England are six points adrift once again.

It has been an exhilarating start to the second half.