Women's Rugby World Cup: England crush Samoa 65-3

Katherine Merchant
Katherine Merchant scored England's first try against Samoa

England 65 (34)

Merchant 2, Thompson 2, Hunt 2, Wilson 2, Scarratt, Mason
Scarratt 6

Samoa 3 (0)


England women ran in 10 tries as they opened their World Cup campaign with a 65-3 win over 14-woman Samoa in France.

The Red Roses - runners up at the past three tournaments - used their superior pace to exploit the gaps in Marcoussis after Soteria Pulumu's early red card.

Lichfield centre Emily Scarratt kicked 15 points and ran in a second-half try to top score in the Pool A match.

Wingers Katherine Merchant and Lydia Thompson, scrum-half Natasha Hunt and sub Kay Wilson scored two tries apiece.

Samoa, who had to hold fundraising dinners to raise the money to travel to France, made a physical start but paid the price when their full-back was sent off for a trip on Hunt after 12 minutes.

Natasha Hunt
England srum-half Natasha Hunt went over for two tries in the victory against Samoa

Scarratt kicked the resulting penalty and Gary Street's side never looked back.

With Canada beating Spain 31-7 earlier in the day, England sit top of Pool A.

They last won the World Cup in 1994 and were beaten by New Zealand in the 2010 final at Twickenham Stoop.

With Spain next up for England on Tuesday, they are well placed to set up another meeting with the Black Ferns, who beat Kazakhstan 79-5 in their opener.

England vice-captain Sarah Hunter:

"There were patches we were very happy with but other parts we let ourselves down with our execution and clinicalness.

"There are definitely areas to go away and review and get better. We certainly aren't the finished article and we knew from day one we never would be.

"It's about how we build through the tournament.

"We know Spain will be another tough game for us. They've got a very dominant pack and a lot of their sevens players have transferred across to the XVs game so we know they play with a lot of tempo and a lot of width that will really test us."

England: Danielle Waterman; Katherine Merchant, Emily Scarratt, Rachael Burford, Lydia Thompson; Katy McLean, Natasha Hunt; Rochelle Clark, Emma Croker, Laura Keates, Jo McGilchrist, Tamara Taylor, Heather Fisher, Margaret Alphonsi, Sarah Hunter.

Replacements: Victoria Fleetwood, Claire Purdy, Rebecca Essex, Marlie Packer, La Toya Mason Ceri Large, Kay Wilson.

Samoa: Soteria Pulumu; Brenda Collins, Merenaite Faitala-Mariner, Mary-Ann Collins, Justine Luatua; Bella Milo, Tulua Leuluaialii; Tessa Wright, Sharlene Fagalilo, Ala Leavasa-Bakulich, Italia Tipelu, Cynthia Taala, Sally Kaokao, Rita Lilii, Helen Collins.

Replacements: Cynthia Apineru, Laura Levi, Juliana Saumani Sua, Roseanne Leaupepe, Taliilagi Mefi, Mele Leuluaialii, Ginia Muavae.

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