sport

Street so proud

England women's head coach Gary Street paid tribute to his team after they cruised into the World Cup final with a 40-7 victory over Ireland.

England scored five tries at the Stade Jean Bouin in Paris to swamp an Irish team side whose semi-final appearance had been underpinned by a stunning pool-stage victory over competition heavyweights New Zealand.

"We knew that this was going to be a huge game," Street said. "There has been a lot of build-up and there was a fair amount of pressure on us, but we really did deliver and I am massively proud of them all.

"We felt like the scoreboard was fair - we were clinical in attack and strong in defence.

"One of our strengths is the amount of experience we have in the squad. To be able to bring players off the bench with 60 caps is a huge bonus, and picking the squad for the final will certainly be a challenge.

"It's a cliche, but we really have taken it one game at a time.

"If you had said to us at the start of the tournament that we would have the opportunity to play France or Canada in the final, then of course we would have taken it.

"Sunday is a huge game for us, and one that we are massively looking forward to."

England will play Canada in Sunday's final. The two sides drew in the group stage of the tournament.

England captain Katy McLean added: "We are delighted with the performance, I think the scoreline reflects the fact that we really did turn up on the day and we performed really well.

"I am so proud of all of the girls. The forwards and the backs all delivered, and we have a huge opportunity on Sunday. We can't wait."

Ireland, though, must now pick themselves up for the bronze medal match against France, as the tournament reaches its conclusion this weekend.

"It is what it is," Ireland coach Phillip Doyle said on the International Rugby Board women's World Cup official Twitter feed.

"They deserved the win. All credit to England, I genuinely hope that they go on to win it. We just unfortunately didn't perform.

"The first 15 minutes we were in the game and then we turned off the taps, but we get huge encouragement from our tournament overall."