Sunday 22 April 2018

Champions England open World Cup defence in style

England Women's Kay Wilson. Photo: Rachel Holborn - CameraSport via Getty Images
England Women's Kay Wilson. Photo: Rachel Holborn - CameraSport via Getty Images
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Defending champions England proved too strong for Spain in their opener at the Belfield Bowl but the winning margin wasn't as big as many had expected.

The bookies made England 70-point favourites and although they didn't manage that much of a demolition job, they never really had to get out of second gear as they put 56 points on the hapless Spanish side.

Kay Wilson wrote her name in the history books during the Six Nations when she scored seven tries against Scotland and the flying winger quickly announced herself on the world stage with four tries on their way to a facile 56-5 victory.

In the same pool, USA made tough of work of it but eventually got the job done against Italy.

Despite dominating, the Americans only led 12- 7 at the break but eventually found their feet when Kris Thomas powered over for her second try of the game shortly after the restart for a 24-12 win.

Over in Pool B, New Zealand got their campaign off to a flying start in Billings Park with a 44-12 win against a plucky Welsh side with Selica Winiata helping herself to a hat-trick.

The beaten finalists in 2014 Canada will be gunning for revenge and they also got the start they were looking for, destroying Hong Kong.

The contest was over by the break. The outstanding Magali Harvey scored a hat-trick to help put Canada into an emphatic 46-0 lead and she added another two en route to an emphatic 98-0 win.

As expected, Ireland's pool rivals France had little trouble dispatching Japan, running out easy 72-14 winners.

Irish Independent

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