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The Kiwi Ferns will take part in their fifth consecutive Rugby League World Cup Final after overcoming England 52-4 at Southern Cross Group Stadium on Sunday.

The New Zealanders overcame a poor start in the first half completing just 35 percent of their sets to record seven tries in the second half to blow England off the park and become the first team to qualify for the final.

A Honey Hireme hat-trick and a Krystal Murray double helped the Ferns' cause while forwards Teuila Fotu-Moala and Lilieta Maumau both notched up more than 200 running metres.

England started the match with its backs against the wall after knocking the ball on from the kick-off gifting New Zealand a great early attacking chance.

The Kiwi Ferns wasted no time finding a way through England’s defence, scoring in the second minute of the match after executing a slick backline move through the hands for Maitua Feterika to crash over.

Just four minutes later, the Ferns found themselves in attacking range once again and after a full set on the England's line, the three-time champions opted to run the ball on the fifth for Shontelle Woodman, who ran through a gaping hole in England’s defence for their second try after just six minutes.

Following two unsuccessful conversions, the scoreline remained at 8-0 as things started to look ominous for the lacklustre English side.

But after completing just 35% of their sets in the opening 40-minutes, the Ferns gave the English time to slowly find their groove and work their way back into the match. 

And in the 21st minute, England found the breakthrough after halfback Kirsty Moroney put a beautiful cross-field kick into the Ferns in goal, bouncing favourably for Tara-Jane Stanley who quickly got the ball down for England’s first points.

England’s try would be the last points of the first half as unforced errors slowed the momentum of both sides for New Zealand to walk off the field with a 14-4 advantage.

Looking to rectify their uncharacteristically low completion rate, the Ferns started the second half much the same as the first, scoring early points to immediately put England on the back foot.

Hireme crossed over for the first of her three tries after just six minutes of the second half, finding enough space down the side-line to plant the ball down as New Zealand started to look dangerous.

Following Hireme’s four-pointer, the Kiwi Ferns started to show why they haven’t missed a World Cup final since the inception of the tournament in 2000.

Improving their completion rate from 35 percent to 68 percent, the Ferns ran in seven tries in the second half to streak away.

In the second semi-final, the Jillaroos gave the Canada Ravens no chance, bolting to a 42-0 halftime lead before easing off to win 58-6.



Southern Cross Group Stadium, Sydney

Kiwi Ferns 52 (Honey Hireme 3, Krystal Murray 2, Maitua Feterika, Shontelle Woodman, Teuila Fotu-Moala, Hilda Peters, Lilieta Maumau, Laura Mariu tries; Kimiora Nati 4 conversions).

England Lionesses 4 (Tara-Jane Stanley try).

Halftime: 14-4 Kiwi Ferns.

Referee: Todd Smith (Australia).

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