THE United States became the first world champions in women's rugby union after biding their time before pulling England apart by 19-6 in the second half of the World Cup final in Cardiff .
In the first half, England had kept the Americans penned back in a tight and turgid show of muscle. The ``locks from hell'' and the ``turbo props'' could do little to counter a disciplined display from the England forwards. Facing the heavier American line-up, the English pack finally proved that organisation can counter brawn, scoring a penalty try from a well-worked five-metre scrum. Converted by Gill Burns, the English drew first blood to go 6-0 up.
But the United States, tackling with power and skill, were always going to come back. The turning point came after half an hour when a Francis fumble allowed the United States to press forward, winning a penalty. Harju converted, there were points on the board and the Americans were given a new lease of life.
Within two minutes of the second half Godwin forced the ball over after England had failed to counter the American pressure. Now the States were on a roll and the English could do nothing to stop them.
Copyright (C) The Times, 1991
"American brawn to advantage; Rugby Union." Times [London, England] 15 Apr. 1991