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Rugby - 20. August 2008.

England Women set the standard for Nations Cup

The reigning RBS 6 Nations and European Champions, who will kick-off their Nations Cup campaign against the USA on Friday, 7pm at Esher also, ran in a blistering eight tries, including one for Lichfield’s Emily Scarratt on her debut. Vice-captain Katy McLean also kicked five conversions to secure the win.

The USA proved dogged opposition in the opening stages and kept England at bay until the eighth minute, and then the flood gates opened.

Wasps lock Jo McGilchrist opened the home side’s account with a great try which started with Saracens’ Charlotte Barras making the break. Barras, playing out on the wing, off-loaded to Danielle Waterman, Amy Turner and Maggie Alphonsi before the ball was crossed to the left wing with flanker Tamara Taylor setting-up McGilchrist who found space to score. McLean converted.

Four minutes later and Staniford handed England a 12-0 lead. England showed great support to secure the try with all of England’s backs involved as well as the ever present Taylor. Centre Georgina Roberts was pulled down just short of the line, but Staniford picked up and ran in to score.

Lock Taylor was in the thick of the action again on 24 minutes when a superb break by Waterman, playing her first international at full-back, set Alphonsi loose. The Saracens flanker looked set to score, but a toe tap saw her tackled to the ground but Taylor was in support and muscled her way over the line. McLean converted to put England into a 19-0 lead.

Try number four came courtesy of Clifton’s Kim Oliver, returning to action after an injury lay-off, while Alphonsi rounded off the first-half for England after a well worked line-out saw the ball recycled across the field and Aphonsi diving over the line.

USA clawed back a penalty in the first-half thanks to fly-half Kristen Baja but they had to settle for a 31-3 deficit at the break.

After the restart England called in the back-up and made six replacements. The changes didn’t unsettle the hosts and Barras soon ran in for a try after a superb break and charge down field.

Young centre Scarratt then underlined her potential with a try on her debut after a line-out saw the backs feed the ball out to the 18-year-old who found the attacking line and scored with ease. McLean converted making the score 43-3 and securing the victory for England.

England Head Coach Gary Street said: “I’m really happy with this performance. We have got a lot to work on, but the style of rugby we want to play was very evident tonight.

“It’s really satisfying to score eight tries against a very physical side but we have got to make sure we are not blasé about this win as we look ahead to Friday’s Nations Cup game.

“Maggie Alphonsi had a tremendous game. She was very busy in the first-half and dominant, and it was great to see a player like Emily Scarratt score on her debut.”


1 Rochelle Clark (Henley), 2 Amy Garnett (Saracens), 3 Katy Storie (Blaydon Team Northumbria), 4 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 5 Joanna McGilchrist (Wasps), 6 Sarah Beale (Leos), 7 Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens), 8 Catherine Spencer (C) (Bath), 9 Amy Turner ( Richmond), 10 Katy McLean (vc) (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 11 Michaela Staniford (Wasps), 12 Kim Oliver (Clifton), 13 Georgina Roberts (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 14 Charlotte Barras (Saracens), 15 Danielle Waterman (Clifton). Replacements: 16 Emma Layland (Richmond), 17 Sophie Hemming (Clifton), 18 Natalie Binstead (Wasps), 19 Gemma Sharples (Worcester), 20 Georgina Rozario (Plymouth Albion), 21 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield), 22 Francesca Matthews (Richmond)

Tries: McGilchrist, Staniford, Taylor, Oliver, Alphonsi, Barras, Scarratt, Turner
Conversions: McLean (5)

Substitutions: Hemming for Clark, Binstead for McGilchrist, Layland for Garnett, Scarratt for Roberts (all 45), Rozario for Oliver, Sharples for Alphonsi (56), Matthews for Barras (59),


1 Jamie Burke (At-Large), 2 Lisa Butts (Davis Women), 3 Stacy Baker (Philadelphia), 4 Beckett Royce (ORSU), 5 Jillion Potter (Minnesota Valkyries), 6 Liz Dilley (C) (DC Furies), 7 Mel Denham (Beantown), 8 Blair Groefsema (Berkeley All Blues), 9 Katy Hertel (MN Valkyries), 10 Kristin Baja (New York), 11 Desiree Markovich (Minnesota Valkyries), 12 Elise Myer (Maryland Stingers), 13 Emilie Bydwell (Beantown), 14 Vanesha McGee (Philadelphia), 15 Ashley Kmiecik (Seattle Mudhens). Replacements: 16 Farrah Douglas (Chicago North Shore), 17 Lara Vivolo (New York), 18 Sarah Walsh (Chicago North Shore), 19 Christina Hobson (New York), 20 Katy Hertel (Minnesota Valkyries), 21 Mel Kanuk (Maryland Stingers), 22 Nathalie Marchino

Penalties: Baja

Half-time: England 31 USA 3

Referee Joyce Henry (Canada)
Touch Judges: Andrea Ttofa, Claire Hodnett

Match Schedule:

England v USA, August 19th at Esher RFC, KO 7pm WON 50-3
England v USA August 22nd at Esher RFC Nations Cup, KO 7pm
England v Canada August 24th at Esher RFC Nations Cup, KO 5pm
USA v Canada August 26th at Esher RFC Nations Cup, KO 7pm
England v Canada August 29th at Esher RFC, KO 7pm


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