Selica Winiata scored a dramatic winning-try as the New Zealand Black Ferns recorded a 14-9 victory against England in Hamilton on Tuesday, in the second of three Tests.
Having won the first Test, the 1,000th in the history of the women's game, 29-10, this result ensured they claimed the series with one Test remaining but they were made to work extremely hard by the visitors at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton.
Two penalties from Katy McLean had given England a 6-0 lead at the break and Gary Street's side looked set to level the series having kept the Black Ferns scoreless for 70 minutes.
But Portia Woodman, who scored a try on her debut in the first Test and had been drafted into the starting line-up after an injury to Victoria Grant, brought the hosts within one point, and Kelly Brazier's conversion gave them a slender one point lead.
With time ticking away England bounced back and McLean stepped up to slot her third penalty of the match as the tide swung once more with four minutes remaining.
But the drama had not finished. In the last play of the match the Black Ferns confidently ran the ball from inside their own 22.
Amiria Rule continued her good form in the match as she passed out wide to Woodman who combined brilliantly with Winiata, with the latter eventually crossing to score the winning try. Brazier added the conversion and the celebrations began.
"We showed a lot of heart. We have been under the pump for the last few years and for us to show that courage I am over the moon," said Rule after the match.
The third Test takes place on Saturday at the ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe with England still looking for their first win in New Zealand since 2001.
With thanks to the IRB
For New Zealand:
Tries: Winiata, Woodman
Cons: Brazier 2
Pens: McLean 3
New Zealand: 15 Victoria Grant, 14 Selica Winiata, 13 Claire Richardson, 12 Amiria Rule, 11 Renee Wickliffe, 10 Kelly Brazier, 9 Emma Jensen, 8 Casey Robertson, 7 Justine Lavea, 6 Rawinia Everitt, 5 Vita Dryden, 4 Jackie Patea, 3 Melodie Bosman, 2 Fiao'o Faamausili (capt), 1 Ruth McKay.
Replacements: 16 Karina Stowers, 17 Kathleen Wilton, 18 Stephanie Te Ohaere-Fox, 19 Eloise Blackwell, 20 Charmaine McMenamin, 21 Kendra Cocksedge, 22 Portia Woodman, 23 Mele Hufanga.
England: 15 Kay Wilson, 14 Francesca Matthews, 13 Emily Scarratt, 12 Rachael Burford, 11 Michaela Staniford, 10 Katy Mclean, 9 Natasha Hunt, 8 Harriet Millar-Mills, 7 Marlie Packer, 6 Sarah Hunter, 5 Emily Braund, 4 Joanne McGilchrist, 3 Sophie Hemming, 2 Victoria Fleetwood, 1 Laura Keates.
Replacements: 16 Emma Croker, 17 Kate Newton, 18 Rochelle Clark, 19 Tamara Taylor, 20 Alexandra Matthews, 21 La Toya Mason, 22 Ceri Large, 23 Sally Tuson.
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton