Women's Rugby World Cup: England beat Canada to win final

Women's Rugby World Cup: England react to final win over Canada
England (11) 21
Tries: Waterman, Scarratt
Conversion: Scarratt
Penalties: Scarratt (3)
Canada (3) 9
Penalties: Harvey (3)

England ended a run of three successive final defeats to finally land the Women's Rugby World Cup with a hard-fought 21-9 win over Canada in Paris.

The Red Roses led by five points inside the final 10 minutes but Emily Scarratt barged though and raced into the corner to make sure of victory.

Scarratt scored another 11 points with the boot while Danielle Waterman rounded off a first-half team try.

England's only previous success in the tournament came back in 1994.

England's World Cup glory
Group stagesBeat Samoa 65-3
Group stagesBeat Spain 45-5
Group stagesDrew with Canada 13-13
Semi-finalBeat Ireland 40-7
FinalBeat Canada 21-9

In the 20 years since, England have lost the 2002, 2006 and 2010 finals to New Zealand, but their experience and quality finally told against a Canadian side contesting their first.

"We've worked so hard for this, and there are so many great legends that have gone before us that haven't won in an England shirt, and that's for all of them who are here today," captain Katy Mclean told Sky Sports.

"It started years ago with the people that have brought us here, our family and friends. We've had to work today - Canada were fantastic - and it's amazing to think we've done it."

The victory may well mark the end of the international career of England stalwart Maggie Alphonsi who was one of four players in the starting line-up who played in the last two final defeats.

England had enough possession and territory in the first half to have made Alphonsi's possible send-off far more comfortable, but a determined Canadian side managed to weather most of England's dominance.

The excellent Karen Paquin's superb cover tackle denied Katherine Merchant a try in the corner and it was only when Waterman was freed, following good work by Alphonsi and second row Tamara Taylor, that England finally crossed for their first try after 31 minutes.

Canada's main threat lay in the pace of winger Magali Harvey, but England were alert to the danger and denied the 24-year-old space.

Canada players
Canada had drawn 13-13 with England in the group stages of the competition

Harvey punished their lapses in discipline from the the tee though, moving Canada to within two points at 11-9 midway through the second half.

Scarrett landed a kick off her own soon after however and then sliced through a tiring red defence to end Canada's resistance and spark jubilant celebrations.

England's side - many of whom took unpaid leave from their regular jobs to play in the tournament - lifted the trophy in front of a crowd close to the 22,000 capacity of the Stade Jean-Bouin.

Earlier in the day Ireland, whose sensational win over New Zealand in the group stages helped to end the Black Ferns' title defence, lost 25-18 to hosts France in the third-place play-off.

Wales lost 30-3 in their play-off against Australia, leaving them eighth overall.

Emily Scarratt
Scarratt kicked 11 points as well as scoring one of England's two tries
Emily Scarratt scores
Canada had been within a converted score before Emily Scarratt crossed
England celebrate
England's only previous Women's World Cup win came in 1994