England women lose to NZ as Rochelle Clark sets caps record

New Zealand celebrate their win over England

Women’s international
England (5) 20
Tries: Pocock, Millar-Mills, Thompson Cons: McLean Pens: Scarratt
New Zealand (7) 25
Tries: Wickliffe, Cocksedge 2 Cons: Cockedge 2 Pens: Cocksedge 2

England women lost 25-20 to top-ranked New Zealand as Rochelle Clark set a new international caps record.

England’s Fiona Pocock scored a first-minute try but Renee Wickliffe’s converted score put the Black Ferns 7-5 up at the break at Twickenham Stoop.

Harriet Millar-Mills and Lydia Thompson scored in quick succession to put England 17-7 up but Kendra Cocksedge’s 20-point haul proved decisive.

Worcester Valkyries prop Clark came off the bench to win her 116th cap.

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The 35-year-old surpassed the record held by Scotland’s Donna Kennedy.

Having moved to second in the rankings by beating France on 9 November and Ireland last Sunday, England made a perfect start, moving the ball to the left wing where Pocock surged along the touchline to cross in the corner.

On the stroke of half-time New Zealand launched the ball wide and Wickliffe scored in the corner.

Millar-Mills powered over following a rolling maul and three minutes later a flowing move saw Marlie Packer free Thompson on the right, who weaved through to score.

But Cocksedge displayed some quick footwork with two tries in five minutes, and though Emily Scarratt briefly restored the home side’s lead, the diminutive scrum-half notched two late penalties.

It was a ninth consecutive win for New Zealand and their fifth in succession against England.

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