Shock as Black Ferns miss out on World Cup semis
The Black Ferns' reign as women's rugby world champions is over.
New Zealand beat the United States 34-3 in France today but the result was not enough to get them out of their pool and into the World Cup semifinals.
Their shock 17-14 loss to Ireland earlier in the tournament came back to haunt them as other results conspired to send their campaign to the rubbish bin.
Coming on top of New Zealand's failure at the Commonwealth Games sevens and the Crusaders' Super Rugby grand final defeat, the country's dominance of the global game is under siege.
The Black Ferns' fate was sealed when England and Canada drew 13-13.
The result meant New Zealand had no chance of making the semifinals. Not even the bonus-point win in their final pool game against the United States was enough to overhaul Canada's points tally.
The Black Ferns had won the last four World Cups.
''Playing for fifth to eighth, we are just going out to play like it is a final,'' said New Zealand captain Fiao' Fa'amausili.
''I didn't know (we couldn't reach the semi-finals), I found out when I was getting interviewed. I took it in then, some of the girls knew going in but it didn't change our performance out there at all. We want to show the world that we are not going to give in.''
England play Ireland and France meet Canada in the semifinals.