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.
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