|Rugby League World Cup on the BBC|
|England (0) 16|
|Tries: Slowe, Hardcastle, Bulman Goals: Garner 2|
|Cook Islands (16) 22|
|Tries: Koiatu, Arona, Strickland, Ngata-Aerengamate Goals: Schofield 3|
England’s women have reached the World Cup semi-finals, despite a shock 22-16 defeat by the Cook Islands in their final group game in Sydney.
Te Amohaere Ngata-Aerengamate’s late try won it for a side who had been thrashed by Australia and New Zealand in their previous two matches.
Because of those heavy defeats, the Cook Islands were beaten to the second qualifying spot in Pool A on points difference by Chris Chapman’s England.
Both semi-finals are on Sunday.
The Cook Islands, who were massive outsiders before the game, led 16-0 at half-time.
England rallied after the break and took their first chance through Emma Slowe’s try, which was converted by Claire Garner.
Amy Hardcastle took advantage of some clumsy defending by the Cook Islands to burst through the scrum to go over after 55 minutes.
The video referee ruled out an England try which would have levelled the scores, before Kayleigh Bulman did go over with four minutes remaining but Garner’s sideline conversion fell short.
The Cook Islands sealed the historic win when Ngata-Aerengamate went over with less than a minute remaining.
In the other Pool A match, Australia thrashed Canada 88-0 to progress to the semi-finals undefeated.
England progress following a 36-8 win over Papua New Guinea in their opening inter-group match and a 38-0 defeat by the Jillaroos on Sunday.
The group stages of the tournament were made up of three triple-headers, all played at the Southern Cross Group Stadium in Sydney, which is where both semi-finals will also take place.
Six teams have competed in the tournament, broken down into two groups of three with the top two progressing to the semi-final stage.
The final takes place in Brisbane on 2 December as part of a double header with the men’s World Cup final.