Marcoussis, France: Ireland pulled off a major surprise on Tuesday defeating four-time defending champions New Zealand 17-14 in their women`s rugby World Cup pool match at Marcoussis in France.
A 70th minute penalty by Ireland`s Niamh Briggs was enough to inflict only the second defeat in World Cup history for the `Black Ferns` -- the previous one coming in the 1991 semi-final when they lost 7-0 to the United States.
The Black Ferns -- winners of the 1998/2002/2006 and 2010 editions having not competed in the 1994 renewal -- face a tough task to reach the semi-finals on the back of this defeat.
The Kiwis have six points and play their final pool B match against the United States, who also have six points, on Saturday while prior to their game the Irish, who top the pool with eight points, take on Kazakhstan also at Marcoussis.
Only the three pool winners plus the best runner-up progress to the semi-finals.