Rousing starts for England and New Zealand
August 1, 2014
Lydia Thompson of England breaks through the Samoa defence during their one-sided match © Getty Images
England ran in ten tries as they thrashed Samoa on the opening day at the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup. Defending champions New Zealand fared even better, beating Kazakhstan 79-5 while there were also wins for Canada, Australia, Ireland and France.
England were always odds-on favourites against Samoa, and after Soteria Pulumu was red-carded in the 12th minute for a trip, it was just a question of how many points they would score. "There were patches we were very happy with but other parts we let ourselves down with our execution and clinicalness," said England vice-captain Sarah Hunter. "There are definitely areas to go away and review and get better. We certainly aren't the finished article and we knew day one we never would be. It's about how we build through the tournament."
Wales' Amy Day and Nia Davies tackle France's Safi N'Diaye © Getty Images
In the other match in Pool A, Canada beat Spain 31-7. Wing Magali Harvey was the star performer, scoring all but five of their points, going over for three of their four tries, kicking all four conversions and also landing a penalty.
New Zealand went top of Pool B with their routing of Kazakhstan. The four-time winners took the lead after two minutes in Marcoussis when centre Huriana Manuel went over. Kelly Brazier landed the first of her five conversions and also contributed two of the 13 tries.
In the other game Ireland had to work hard to beat USA 23-17. Fullback Niamh Briggs scored a try and booted 13 points in a victory that also saw prop Ailis Egan score. The Eagles - world champions back in 1991 - found tries from Lynelle Kruger and Carmen Farmer, with Kimber Rozier converting both and steering a penalty home shortly before half-time.
Wales' hopes of a winning start were dashed by France who shut them out in a 26-0 win, an almost identical result to when the two sides met in the Six Nations back in February. Marion Lievre scored twice in the first half while Shannon Izar also crossed to give France a 19-0 half-time advantage and Elodie Poublan added another score late on as the Six Nations champions triumphed.
Australia were equally dominant in their 26-3 victory over South Africa. Centre Sharni Williams went over in the opening minutes and fullback Ashleigh Hewson converted, adding three penalties and a try before half-time for the Wallaroos.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
The Blues have made their worst start to a Super Rugby season after conceding a controversial late penalty to lose 25-24 to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein
Victoria Azarenka reached the final of the Qatar Open on Friday after recovering from one set down to beat Venus Williams
Champions Northampton moved 13 points clear at the top of the Aviva Premiership with a victory which surely ends Harlequins' hopes of reaching the top four
Ulster made it four Guinness PRO12 wins in succession to move level with Glasgow at the top of the table, downing Scarlets 25-20 in a hard-fought match
Sam Warburton says he relishes the type of pressure that will accompany Wales in Saturday's Six Nations clash against France
Kempton Park and which other course have a race named after Desert Orchid?
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland
An honest England side have been searching for the heir to Jason Robinson for nearly a decade. Step forward Jonathan Joseph, writes Simon Barnes
The ARU must be applauded for its decision to introduce a pitch-side video review to assist match-day doctors with concussion assessments, Greg Growden writes
Nani has revealed Louis van Gaal has not spoken to him during his loan spell at Sporting Lisbon
Martin Murray has revealed he was taken aback by his fight with middleweight destroyer Gennady Golovkin, but only because the Kazakh did not punch as hard as he thought he would
Brendan Rodgers has hit out at the Premier League's television scheduling, saying it gives Manchester City an advantage over his Liverpool side heading into their crucial clash on Sunday
Chelsea have told fans attending the League Cup final against Tottenham on Sunday that they will take the strongest action against any fans involved anti-Semitic chanting against Spurs supporters
The winner of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao's mega-fight will be rewarded with a new, specially commissioned WBC belt, it has been announced
Charlton are investigating footage that appears to show a couple having sex on the club's pitch
Chris Eubank Jr tells Inside Boxing of his hopes of a rematch with Billy Joe Saunders - and a dream showdown with the formidable Gennady Golovkin
Tottenham's League Cup final preparations are in full swing with the club set to duke it out with Chelsea at Wembley this coming Sunday
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner
How often has a team that lost its opening Championship match gone on to take the title outright?