Sarah Hunter says England are proud despite World Cup final defeat
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 27/08/17 10:14am
England captain Sarah Hunter says defeat to New Zealand in the World Cup final will not define the success of her side.
Hunter voiced her pride at what the Red Rose squad had achieved, despite losing 41-32 to the Black Ferns in Saturday's thrilling showpiece in Belfast.
The Bristol No 8 paid tribute to the effort her team-mates put in during the pulsating encounter at the Kingspan Stadium.
"We are immensely proud of one another and what the squad has achieved and one result doesn't define this squad," she said.
"It is a very special squad and we win together and we lose together. We have been on a very special journey and it's a great team to play in and I am really proud to captain it and we will stand tall together until the end."
Coach Simon Middleton congratulated the Black Ferns, who produced a dominant second-half display to wrestle the world crown from England.
He said England's failure to hold onto possession in the second period proved fatal.
"A huge congratulations to New Zealand - they were outstanding in the way they managed the second half of the game in particular," he said.
"They have had a great tournament. As with an immense team, they find a way to win - so full credit to them.
"In terms of our team, I couldn't be prouder of them. The girls gave everything they could. There was certainly no shortage of heart, energy and passion and desire.
"We just couldn't get enough possession in the second half to be able to turn the game how we wanted."