First-half tries from captain Catherine Spencer and Danielle Waterman helped England beat Australia 15-0 and reach their third successive World Cup final.
It was a solid rather than spectacular affair with Heather Fisher and Ruan Sims both sin binned late a scrappy finale, with England now going on to face current world champions New Zealand in Sunday’s final.
After losing to Australia in last year’s World Cup Seven’s quarter final in Dubai, the hosts clearly began with revenge in mind.
An overwhelming drive from the England pack allowed Spencer to touch down inside 10 minutes, and from every subsequent attack England appeared capable of scoring, and indeed half way through the first half, they added to their lead.
Full-back Waterman touched down in the corner after Amy Turner’s offload, but not before Fiona Pocock was stretchered from the field, following a dazzling left wing run.
The loss of the Richmond women halted England’s momentum as Australia began to use stern tactics to frustrate their opponents with Kristy Giteau – brother of Wallablies star Matt – taking extreme action to deny Charlotte Barras a certain try after she had kicked through.
The second half followed a similar pattern, England on the front foot throughout while Australia attempted to graft a way back into the match, but Anthony Eddy’s side enjoyed few moments in possession as they weathered England’s attacking storm.
With a quarter of the match remaining Australia mounted their first threatening attack. A multi phase move ended with Nicole Beck making a break for the line, but Waterman’s saving tackle meant England’s brilliant defensive record, which had seen them concede just 10 points throughout the entire tournament, was unscathed.
In the closing stages continuous indiscipline from the breakdown led to yellow cards for Fisher and then Sims, with the latter card leading to Alice Richardson’s late penalty, which capped a solid England victory.
England now go onto the final on Sunday with New Zealand, a team unbeaten in 19 consecutive World Cup matches, their formidable opponents.