Source: World Rugby

England beat Fiji to win Plate Final

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In a thrilling match Fiji opened the scoring before England equalised, then England went ahead and Fiji came back at them and with the scores equal at full time it was onto extra time.  Both teams were exhausted and Fiji resorted to kicking the ball clear.  In the end it was Natasha Hunt who saved the day, with her sixth try of the competition, sealing the win for England with a dramatic try under the posts.Alex Matthews and Natasha Hunt

Fiji had the upper hand in the opening minutes of the game and Asinate Ufia Savu powered through and over the line for the first try of the match, taking the 15th completed pass in the fourth minute and  went on to convert her own score.

Despite Fiji’s dominance in possession and territory, it was England who stole the score right on the cusp of half-time as Natasha Hunt bundled through for her fifth try of the tournament.

England got the best possible start to the second half, as they touched down their second try through Danielle Waterman to extend their lead. But they couldn’t hold on for the remaining minutes and brilliant individual play from Asinate Ufia Savu, used her extra power and strength from a standing start to hand off Amy Wilson-Hardy and touch down in the corner. That was her sixth try in Dubai, she is such a powerful player. However, she couldn’t convert and the buzzer sounded for extra time. There was palpable tension out there

In extra time England began the brighter, pinning the Fijiana deep inside their own 22. There were so many tired bodies, with an exhausted Fiji kicking to clear their lines. Still it remained 12-12 after five minutes as the clock ran down – who would find the extra energy to turn the game?  Out of nothing Natasha Hunt collected the loose ball and ran the length of the pitch, to go through under the posts. England had won the Plate – it may not have been the trophy they wanted to win, but they showed massive character and team spirit to come back from the disappointment of the match against France and beat Russia and then Fiji to take the Plate!