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Talking points from final group games of 2021 Rugby World Cup

Talking points from final group games of 2021 Rugby World Cup

The quarter-final line-up for the 2021 Rugby World Cup has been confirmed with four TikTok Women’s Six Nations teams still in the hunt.

Two will go head-to-head, with Pool B and C runners-up Italy and France locking horns in Whangarei in the first of four mouth-watering ties.

Wales then take on New Zealand for the second time in the tournament, having progressed as one of the two best ranked third placed teams.

England will do battle with Australia, having topped Pool C, and will play the winners of the final last eight fixture, Canada or the United States, should they advance.

Scotland will not be extending their stay in New Zealand and are heading home after a 57-0 defeat at the hands of the tournament hosts.

Double hat-trick for Red Roses as Boks put to the sword

Hat-tricks from Rosie Galligan and Connie Powell saw England cruise past South Africa to clinch their status as Group B winners.

The tournament’s leading try scorers crossed on 13 occasions in Auckland despite naming a starting XV which included six tournament debutants.

Second-row Galligan was one of those new faces and she was the first to register, going over after just six minutes to set the tone for a relentless 75-0 victory.

Poppy Cleall then rumbled her way over as South Africa struggled to deal with England’s intensity at both the scrum and line-out.

Galligan notched her second before Powell got the first of her three either side of a score for late injury replacement Shaunagh Brown.

Powell then claimed her second before Marlie Packer went over for her 27th Test try as England raced towards a 28th consecutive international victory.

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Galligan completed her hat-trick in the 53rd minute and Cleall crossed the whitewash again before replacement Sadia Kabeya dotted down for the first of her two scores.

Abby Dow was the final player to get in on the act and is one of a number of players who have put themselves in contention for a quarter-final start.

England last played Australia in 2017, winning 53-10 in Wellington, and know that if they can produce a repeat of that result they will likely face Canada in the final four on 5 November.

Wales through despite Australia defeat

Wales progressed to the quarter finals despite a narrow 13-7 defeat to Australia at Okara Park.

They returned to action following a spirited 56-12 defeat by the Black Ferns though they could not match their quick start from their previous encounter.

Ioan Cunningham’s side trailed inside just five minutes, with Iliseva Batibasaga touching down after darting through a hole in the Wales defence.

A converted Sioned Harries score restored parity midway through the first half but those would be the only points that Wales mustered, with two Lori Cramer penalties, one at the end of each half, proving the difference on the scoresheet.

Wales’ 18-15 victory in their opening game against Scotland means that they progress at the expense of their rivals, and they are rewarded with a tie against New Zealand.

They certainly showed that they had the ability to trouble the five-time winners when the pair clashed previously but must turn that pressure into points if they have any hopes of causing an upset and reaching the final four for the first time since 1994.

Scotland exit after New Zealand defeat

Scotland knew victory was required to see them through to the next stage but went down 57-0 against a rampant New Zealand.

The holders scored ten tries against Wales and came up just one short of that tally this time out.

The scoring started inside two minutes with Renee Holmes crossing in the corner and the bonus-point was wrapped up soon after with scores from Ayesha Leti-l’iga, Sarah Hirini and Liana Mikaele-Tu’u.

The fifth was arguably the pick of the bunch and had a passionate home crowd on their feet, with Theresa Fitzpatrick latching onto a clever offload from Alana Bremner.

Renee Wickliffe then registered a double before Maia Roos put a real gloss to the scoresheet as New Zealand passed the 50-point mark to ensure they will move into their quarter-final tie with Wales brimming with confidence.

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Filopon fires France past Fiji

Centre Maelle Filopon scored two tries as France waltzed their way to victory against Fiji.

Les Bleues were without superstar scrum-half Laure Sansus through injury but Toulouse team-mate Pauline Bourdon was a constant menace during the seven-try victory.

Marine Menager opened the scoring from the back of an unstoppable lineout drive before Melisande Llorens crashed over for a deserved second.

Filopon then turned on the style as the break approached and she secured the bonus-point at the start of the second half.

Stalwarts Emeline Gros and Emilie Boulard added France’s fifth and sixth tries before the festivities came to a close when Celia Domain touched down in the final play of the game.

Italy through to quarter-finals for first time after Japan triumph

Italy were pushed all the way by the lowest ranked side at the tournament but emerged 21-8 winners to book their quarter-final place.

Maria Magatti opened the scoring but that was quickly cancelled out by Kyoko Hosokawa.

After a penalty apiece it was Italy who grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck, pulling clear as the second half wore on.

The boot of Michela Sillari edged them six points ahead before Melissa Bettoni made sure of victory with just a minute to play, sparking jubilant scenes among Italy’s band of history-makers.