Sarah Hunter's landmark caps England Women's advancement in Rugby Union World Cup at expense of Australia
The Red Roses were 41-5 victors in Auckland on a day the veteran number eight achieved her 138th cap.
The world number one side were patient following a slow start due to the pouring rain at the Waitakere Stadium in Auckland, but they quickly capitalised on the Wallaroos’ ill discipline to seize the match via a dominant performance from their forwards to notch seven tries and book a spot in the final four.
Australia’s inaccuracy at the lineout consistently gifted possession to the Red Roses, who claimed their 29th straight win with the result.
Marlie Packer was awarded player of the match, with the openside flanker scoring a hat-trick which included a try in the final minute.
The 37-year-old Hunter said: “I think the thing that tops it all off has been the win. That is the focus, we are in knock-out rugby. Winning in this means the record-cap number is even sweeter. It has been so surreal, I have had the most amazing support.”
The skipper received a standing ovation from both sides when she came off in the 54th minute, saying afterwards that “never in a million years” did she think she would break Rochelle Clark’s record. “I kept hanging on, it is like an addiction – the feeling to play for your country,” she said.
England head coach Simon Middleton remarked on the “difficult” conditions due to heavy rain in the first half, but said his side “managed the game brilliantly”.
England move on to a semi-final with Canada next weekend.