England Women lose second Test to New Zealand in Hamilton

England's Sarah Hunter tackles New Zealand's Casey Robertson
England's Sarah Hunter tackles New Zealand's Casey Robertson

England Women suffered an injury-time defeat in the second Test in Hamilton to lose the series against New Zealand.

They looked to have clinched victory when Katy McLean kicked her third penalty with two minutes remaining to put coach Gary Street's side 9-7 ahead.

But full-back Selica Winiata scored a well-worked try for New Zealand to seal a last-gasp win at Waikato Stadium.

England lost the opener 29-10 at Eden Park in Auckland, with the third Test taking place in Pukekohe on Saturday.

Street said after Tuesday's defeat: "We played really well in the first half and were really on top, but fair play to the Black Ferns.

"They came back and got stuck into us. Any game between England and New Zealand is always going to be a hell of a battle and tonight was no different. It was a fantastic advert for women's rugby.

"At the end of the day this result could have gone either way, and unfortunately it wasn't our way tonight. It is tough to take and we'll look at this and look to come back even stronger for the final Test because we don't want to go home without a win."

Tuesday's result leaves England still without a victory in New Zealand since 2001, though they have won their last two home series against the Black Ferns.

Two McLean penalties had given a much-changed England side a 6-0 lead at half-time, despite the tourists being a player down for a spell after lock Joanne McGilchrist was sent to the sin-bin.

England held their advantage until the 70th minute when world champions New Zealand turned things around with a Portia Woodman try, converted by Kelly Brazier.

The visitors reclaimed the lead through McLean's late penalty and looked to have levelled the series only for Winiata to seal a late New Zealand win, with Brazier adding her second conversion.

England have now won only one of the seven Tests they have played on New Zealand soil.

New Zealand team: Winiata, Woodman, Richardson, Rule, Wickliffe, Brazier, Jensen, McKay, Faamausili (capt), Bosman, Patea, Dryden, Everitt, Lavea, Robertson.

Replacements: Stowers, Wilton, Teohaere-Fox, Blackwell, McMenamin, Cocksedge, Woodman, Hufanga.

England team: Kay Wilson (Bristol), Francesca Matthews (Richmond), Emily Scarratt (Lichfield), Rachael Burford (Thurrock), Michaela Staniford (Wasps), Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Natasha Hunt (Lichfield), Laura Keates (Worcester), Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield), Sophie Hemming (Bristol), Joanne McGilchrist (Wasps), Emily Braund (Lichfield), Sarah Hunter (Lichfield, capt), Marlie Packer (Bristol), Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield).

Replacements: Emma Croker (Richmond), Kate Newton (Bristol), Rochelle Clark (Worcester), Tamara Taylor (Lichfield), Alexandra Matthews (Richmond), La Toya Mason (Wasps), Ceri Large (Worcester), Sally Tuson (Bristol).