Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

England's women thrash Spain

Marlie Packer scores two tries as England beat Spain comfortably in Paris
Marlie Packer scores two tries as England beat Spain comfortably in Paris

England made it two from two at the Women's Rugby World Cup in France, beating Spain 45-5 in the Pool A clash.

Head coach Gary Street's side scored six tries to Spain's one, with Kay Wilson, Danielle Waterman, Laura Keates, Claire Allan and Marlie Packer - with two - all scoring and Emily Scarratt adding 15 points with the boot.

After a cagey opening England broke the deadlock when a deft grubber through from fly-half Ceri Large bounced perfectly for Wilson to jump on for her third try of the tournament.

Scarratt converted the try from wide, and the Lichfield centre duly added a penalty after 33 minutes.

At 10-0 Spain continued to press, but some dancing feet from Waterman saw her get over the line for her 35th international try.

England went into the break 17-0 up, and started the second half with real pace.

First, Keates rumbled over to score after strong work from the pack before Allan was on hand to finish off a smart team move across the line for 31-0 and the bonus point.

Scarratt converted both with ease and had her sixth successful kick after Packer barged her way over the line for her first try of the World Cup.

With just over 10 minutes to play Spain were rewarded with their first try after a spell of pressure on England's line - Marina Bravo eventually diving over.

But it was England who had the final say. Packer scored her second try after more strong work from the pack and Scarratt rounded off the win with the conversion, her seventh from seven attempts.

England captain Sarah Hunter said: "It was a tough game, we knew that Spain would come at us and cause us problems.

"It was a case of playing in the right areas and hoping that we would get the rewards - and eventually they came.

"Canada up next will be a huge test for us, we'll look at this game and take what we can out of it and then switch attention to that match on Saturday which will be a difficult game as they are an excellent side."

Head coach Street said: "We had a plan going into these first two games - we wanted to give everyone a chance and we wanted to see all 26 players in action.

"I thought that we started quite slowly today but we knew that we would have to be patient, and that proved to be the case. Space eventually came our way and we got ourselves into some good positions."

Street made sure to pay special tribute to his in-form fullback Scarratt.

He added: "It's great to have a kicking option like Emily Scarratt - I've seen a lot of a kicking performances from women over the years, but that was one of the best, if not the best, I've ever seen.

"To get seven from seven in the pressure of a World Cup is a testament to her character.

"Looking ahead to Canada, we have some fresh legs who will come into contention, but there will be some tough calls to make ahead of what promises to be a very difficult game."

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