Womens Rugby World Cup Semi- Final: England vs France

England will face France in the Women's Rugby World Cup Semi-Final, 22 August, Ireland 2017. 

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Having dispatched all before them in the competition to date, both the English and French women will be fighting tooth and nail to book their place in the final of the Women’s’ Rugby World Cup for 2017. This showdown in Belfast represents the chance for England to appear in back-to-back finals (after their triumphant appearance in 2014), while France could appear in their first ever final with a win on Tuesday.

England v France | 22 August 20h45 | Kingspan Stadium, Belfast

To Win (80 Mins)
England 6/10 | Draw 15/1 | France 15/10

The defending champions have recorded a clean sweep so far in the competition – bettering the USA, Spain and Italy women’s’ teams – and fell agonizingly short of finishing the group stage as the highest ranked qualifier. Instead, the New Zealand Women’s superior points-difference means that the English have a date with the French on Tuesday, in a winner-takes-all affair.

Having claimed the mantle of world’s best women’s’ rugby side on two previous occasions, Sarah Hunter’s warriors will hold nothing back in their pursuit of a shot at claiming a third crown. France pose a tricky, physical challenge, but if the way England have previously gone about business in the competition is anything to go by, they should be well up for the encounter.
England scored a mammoth 159-points in the group stages (bettered only by the Kiwis), but will have a tough task on their hands putting scores past a resilient French defence that has only conceded a minuscule 19-points so far. If England remain clinical and composed, they will back themselves to breach the Frogs’ line and proceed to the final.

Perennial bronze medallists in the past, France will want to rewrite history and finish the tournament with (at least) a silver medal to show for their efforts. Tuesday’s semi-final offers them a shot at redemption against the Poms, and one certainly wouldn’t put it past them winning from then on.

GaĆ«lle Mignot’s women have put on perhaps one of the best defensive displays in the history of the Women’s Rugby World Cup to date. Conceding just 19-points in three matches – especially against quality outfits like Ireland and Australia – proves just how good this team really is. They will definitely back their processes against a very attack-orientated English side, to give them a chance at qualifying for a first ever final.

Verdict: France 15/10
France’s superior defensive game will nullify England on Tuesday, and allow them to qualify for a first ever final. They will simply grind the English down.

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Written by Shaun Goosen for @Hollywoodbets.net

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