Canada 6th, New Zealand wins women's rugby title
A disappointing Women's Rugby World Cup in England ended on a losing note for Canada on Sunday as the Canadian women were beaten 23-20 by the U.S. and had to settle for sixth place.
Later Sunday before 13,253 at the Twickenham Stoop, New Zealand (5-0) edged England 13-10 to win their fourth straight world title -- 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010.
The Black Ferns, who to survive three players sent to the sin bin by referee Sarah Corrigan, have now won 19 straight games at the tournament. And it marked the third straight time New Zealand has defeated the English in the final.
The New Zealand women have only ever lost three matches, two at the hands of England, since they began Test play in 1991.
"The girls just stepped up," said New Zealand captain Melissa Ruscoe. "And the black jersey just means so much."
Australia defeated France 22-10 to finish third.
Canada, seeded fourth at the 12-team tournament, had placed fourth at the last three World Cups and had hoped to finish higher this time. But a loss to third-seeded France and a big Australian win in the final round of pool play eliminated the Canadian women (3-2) from semifinal contention.
The fifth-seeded Americans (3-2) have now won 16 of 28 career meetings with Canada. The two teams have split six games since the 2009 Nations Cup.
Canada had a dream start Sunday, leading 10-0 after eight minutes following an Anna Schnell penalty and a converted try by Heather Moyse. But Moyse, who won Olympic bobsled gold in February, had to be substituted in the 23rd minute because of a lower body injury.
She exited with seven tries, tied for the tournament lead with New Zealand's Carla Hohepa. Moyse led the 2006 tournament with seven tries.
Megan Gibbs also scored a try for Canada. Fly half Anna Schnell kicked two penalties and two conversions.
Lynelle Kugler, Ashley English and Vanesha McGee scored tries for the Americans. Christy Ringgenberg kicked two penalties and a conversion.
After trailing early, the Americans pulled ahead 11-10 in the 30th minute on two penalties and a try. Canada led 17-11 at the half after a 35th-minute Gibbs converted try.
The Americans regained the lead on two tries in five minutes -- from Kugler and McGee -- early in the second half to go ahead 23-17.
A Schenll penalty in the 66th minute trimmed the lead to 23-20. But the Canadians were unable to do more damage with the Americans holding on for the win after a back-and-forth match.
Canada's Sarah Ulmer was yellow-carded in the 25th minute for hands in the ruck -- the seventh visit to the sin bin for the Canadians throughout the tournament.
The game marked a changing of the guard for Canada with captain Leslie Cripps, vice-captain Maria Gallo, Gillian Florence, Heather Jaques and Ulmer all retiring after the tournament.
Florence was substituted in the second half, leaving after five World Cups and 66 caps.