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England, France, NZ win as Women’s Rugby World Cup kicks off


AP Sports Writer

Women’s rugby stepped into a bright new spotlight when the opening matches of the ninth Women’s Rugby World Cup were played in front of a world-record crowd at Auckland’s Eden Park. Tournament favorite England made an emphatic opening statement with an 84-19 win over Fiji while France beat South Africa 40-5 in a tournament of 26 matches played over 35 days. Defending champion and tournament host New Zealand faced the almost unthinkable prospect of an opening loss to seventh-ranked Australia when it conceded three tries and trailed 17-0 after 28 minutes. But it rallied to win 41-17, snatching the lead for the first time in the 56th minute.

Article Topic Follows: ap-national-sports

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