England beat Australia in woeful conditions to clinch Women’s Rugby World Cup semi-final berth

Hat-trick hero: England flanker Marlie Packer celebrates her treble of tries in rainy Auckland  (PA)
Hat-trick hero: England flanker Marlie Packer celebrates her treble of tries in rainy Auckland (PA)

England brushed aside Australia to reach the semi-finals at the Women's Rugby World Cup.

Simon Middleton's dominant side negotiated terrible wet conditions in Auckland and flanker Marlie Packer notched a hat-trick in a seven-try effort against their old rivals, who went down 41-5.

Either Canada or the United States now await the Red Roses in the semi-finals of the delayed tournament at Eden Park on November 5.

The world no1 side were patient following a slow start due to the pouring rain at the Waitakere Stadium, but they quickly capitalised on the Wallaroos' ill discipline to seize the match via a dominant performance from their forwards.

Australia's inaccuracy at the lineout consistently gifted possession to England, who claimed their 29th straight win with the result.

Packer was awarded player of the match, with the openside flanker scoring a treble which included a try in the final minute.

Captain Sarah Hunter was given a standing ovation by both sides in the 54th minute as the veteran centre came off after becoming England's most capped player in either men or women's rugby.

Additional reporting by the Press Association.